An ageing population and a more urbanized landscape: these are two developments that will be inevitable in the years to come. They both mean that we have to deal with a growing labour shortage. To deal with the consequences of this, an expansion of the labour force is essential: more people will have to go to work. But how do you ensure that increased employment does not occur at the expense of productivity? And how do you keep all those employees physically and mentally healthy? These are the kinds of questions that we seek to find answers to in the Labour Market Participation research line.
The interface between participation and productivity
In order to get more people into employment, we will need to involve groups who currently occupy a weaker position in the labour market. This includes groups such as the elderly, the less well-educated, immigrants and people who have stopped work for health reasons. Many employers, however, are reluctant to employ such people, and the potential employees themselves are not always willing to go out to work. What is more, research shows that increasing labour market participation often occurs at the expense of average productivity per employee. This means that an increase in labour market participation does not automatically lead to higher profits.
Research into the elderly, health and diversity
Even so, employers organizations do indicate that an expansion in labour market participation is a must, and also that this should be accompanied by an increase in productivity. In this research line, we want to contribute to that goal. We do this by examining questions such as:
- How do you keep older workers healthy and productive at work
- How do you increase labour market participation in such a way that employees can continue to develop?
- How do you promote cultural diversity in organizations?
- How can you improve the physical and mental health of your employees?
Human Resources as the driving force
HR policy is the key to all these questions. An effective HR policy is designed to ensure that staff are healthy, competent and motivated at work, and that they stay that way. This requires organizations where there is room for mobility, the development of talent, education, healthcare management and flexible terms of employment. It is up to the HR professionals to ensure that all this is done. Our research aims to support them in this.