Guernsey Post actively recruits older employees because of the stability they offer the mail organisation.
Mary Hurrell, head of HR, says: “We like to look for a mature attitude. Even when we recruit people, we don’t necessarily want to be bringing in lots of young [employees] because, generally speaking, they will come in and do three or four years’ service, maximum, and then they’ll be looking to move off elsewhere.
“We actually pitch our recruitment to attract [employees] who are perhaps in their 40s or older, and who are much more likely to stick with us. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience and the ability to deal with issues that, when you’re younger, you just haven’t got enough experience to cope with.”
Consequently, 42.5% of Guernsey Post’s 241 employees are over the age of 50, and 10% are over 60. The oldest employee is 72 and has an office role, but most staff deliver post.
The organisation formalised its strategy for supporting older workers five years ago. “We had the strategy previously, but we didn’t think about it; it was automatic,” says Hurrell. “For the last five years, we’ve been much more aware, making sure we’re not excluding any older workers from applying to work here, or from staying with us.”
Guernsey Post, which is owned by the State of Guerney, operates a flexible approach to employment, whereby employees perform their post rounds on bikes until they find this too much of a challenge. They are then offered a van instead of their bike, after which they are offered office-based work and the opportunity to work part-time.
Healthcare support, which is fully funded by Guernsey Post, includes a private medical insurance scheme run by Axa PPP Healthcare and an occupational health service, which the organisation outsources to a local medical practice. A physiotherapist from the practice also visits the workplace on Monday mornings.
All employees are also offered on-site blood pressure checks and access to a smoking cessation programme, as well as an on-site flu jab in winter.
The organisation also funds retirement training for employees and their partners or spouses approaching retirement, which is provided by the Guernsey Training Agency.