Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On


            The Changing Workforce

 A very interesting program was aired on Radio Australia recently.

Apparently, the world is moving from an experienced-base workforce to managers who are highly qualified with no experience.  But they bring with them new ideas, sometimes to a work place that was operating very well with old people and old styles.

When management posts are advertised, it will no longer necessarily be the longest serving employee with loads of experience who will get the job. It could be a young graduate fresh out of university who is highly motivated in the  field suited for the job. How do the experienced people in the work force see this? How do they feel about working under someone much younger than them who will from time to time come to them to ask for assistance?  Will they assist the new kid on the block?

Studies have shown that older managers with loads of experience will not listen to younger dynamic managers because they (the older person) think that the younger manager have nothing new to offer. This was very evident to me when I was a young emerging manager in the civil service. And there is another issue: when the young newly appointed manager is a woman and the workforce is predominantly male. How do the male counterparts cope? While the young woman may have no experience she is highly qualified in her field and will learn, it may take time, but by Jove she will learn.

In Fiji we have lowered the civil service retirement age to 55, something that I wholly heartedly agreed to. If it was up to me I would make the voluntary retirement age at 50. There are many of us who have planned their lives properly, especially those of us who had children very young and who are now working and supporting the family.

Let us support our young graduates and for those who wish to make the voluntary retirement age to 50, call me. All we need to do is make way for the younger generation, take up a hobby, or start a backyard garden that will keep you fit and you will be eating freshly harvested vegetables.

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

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