Development and validation of the Later Life Work Index for successful management of an aging workforce

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenAbstracts in KonferenzbändenForschung


Fed by the demographic change the share of older workers among the European workforce increases rapidly. Better health status of older workers and the political ambition to relieve pension systems drive extended working lives. Consequently, organizations have to deal with increased age diversity and specific demands by older workers. In order to summarize and describe appropriate organizational practices and working conditions for older workers nearing retirement age and beyond, we developed and operationalized the Later Life Work Index. It is based on qualitative interviews in Germany (Wöhrmann, Deller, & Pundt, 2018) and evidence
from the “Age Smart Employer Award” in New York City. The index contains nine dimensions covering age-friendly organizational culture and leadership, as well as more specific age-friendly practices regarding work design, health management, individual development, knowledge management, transition to retirement, continued employment options and health and retirement coverage.
We operationalized and validated the index in multiple studies. We first developed an extensive item pool based on pre-studies with human resource representatives from 30 to 56 companies in Germany. Secondly, EFAs were conducted on responses from 600 employees of all industries to form a compact, reliable and valid scale. Third, we cross-validated results against convergent and criterion variables in a third sample of 350 older workers. Fourth, we administered the scales in 50 organizations in Germany with 900 older workers, managers and human resource representatives in total to proof a shared within-organization perception of the index and a valid
measurement on the organizational level. Finally, the scales were translated and back-translated to English by two independent English-German bilinguals and are currently cross-validated among older workers in the United States.
The index can be assessed by 80 items in total, showing good to acceptable CFA model fit and reliabilities. The validation proofs sufficient independence from positive and negative affect, as
well as discriminant validity among the index dimensions. Moreover, criterion validity proves effects on e.g. older workers’ commitment towards the organization, stress level and perceived health status. So far, the validation of the developed LLWI scale is limited to individual level criterions. However, we continue the organizational study to validate the effects on organizational level outcomes such as performance, illness absence and turnover.
The index allows organizations to self-assess their capabilities and opportunities for improvement regarding employment of older workers in a straightforward and low-effort manner. Individual dimensions of the index may serve researchers as a standardized and validated measure to evaluate interventions in specific research areas. We will present and discuss the index and its operationalization and are eager to show a validated English version to facilitate the application of the index in different cultural settings.
TitelBOOK OF PROCEEDINGS: 14th Conference of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology : Promoting healthy and sustainable work
HerausgeberKevin Teoh, Luis Torres, Aditya Jain
Anzahl der Seiten2
VerlagEuropean Academy of Occupational Health Psychology
ISBN (elektronisch)978-0-9928786-5-8
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 09.2020
Veranstaltung14th European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference: Promoting healthy and sustainable work - Virtuell, Nicosia, Zypern
Dauer: 02.09.202004.09.2020
Konferenznummer: 14

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