Finland — Age management at Berner Ltd
Berner Ltd is a long-standing manufacturer/wholesaler, known for its employee-centred approach. With an average employee age of 44 and with 21 % of employees over 55 years old, Berner created a ‘senior programme’ in 2010. The programme was developed by an in-house steering group in partnership with Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance. The programme includes succession planning, mentoring and knowledge transfer, employee feedback and communication. Work adjustments, healthcare checks and senior leave days help to retain older workers, and retired employees can join the labour reserve, providing training/cover when needed. The programme is successful, resulting in low rates of sickness absence, almost no staff lost because of incapacity, a retirement age above the national average and national recognition. The experience gained from this programme is now being applied to a ‘junior’ programme for younger staff. Success factors include the employee consultation, career planning and diversity of measures undertaken. The programme is transferable for large private- or public-sector organisations. Smaller companies could adopt a modified range of measures.