Aging Population in Canada and Public Policies

Executive Summary

The current situation with the extent of workforce aging in the UK has become a troubling tendency. While the range of staff members that have approached the category of aging employees has risen, the number of younger employees has been shrinking. The phenomenon of aging workforce can be attributed to numerous factors, yet it leads to the same problem of the quality of UK’s economic performance dropping constantly. Therefore, a policy that would help to galvanize organizational performance, at the same time taking the health needs of the aging employees into consideration, is needed desperately,

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The integration of business investment strategies that will help to invest in the further training and development of employees alongside with the tools for increasing the extent of opportunities for talent management and the introduction of incentives for staff members. The specified measure will help to increase the performance across the UK organizations in every industry, at the same time paying due attention to the needs and requirements of employees that are experiencing health issues due to their age. The policy designed to improving productivity growth are expected to lead to tangible positive changes in the current UK economy, affecting the situation positively.

There are several options to managing the issue at hand. Apart from the enhancement of the employee engagement rates through the introduction of incentives, one should also consider the strategies aimed at creating better workplace conditions and offering effective healthcare management options.

Overview/Background

The economic impact of population aging in Canada is one of the issues that deserve an urgent discussion given the implications that it will entail in the nearest future. Due to the rise in the number of aging people in Canada, the extent of economic growth will inevitably shrink, causing a possible recession in state economy and entailing largely negative implications for the Canadian government, as well as Canadian citizens (Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 2003). According to the latest statistical data on the subject matter, the decline in labour participation has been consistently noticeable in the Canadian economy, causing an inevitable shift in the amount of the per-capita income and the extent of the economic progress within the state, in general (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2017).

The Fraser Institute (2017) specifies that “expectations for the 2017 to 2045 period are that per-capita income will grow by only 0.9 percent, and almost the entirety of this decline in growth is expected to be due to lower labour force participation” (par. 4). The expected decline in the economic performance of the state and the resulting failure to maintain the efficacy of the state economy will produce an undeniably adverse impact on the economic well-being of Canadians. Therefore, a reform aimed at minimizing the risks linked to the current problem and creating premises for the economic upheaval within the Canadian economic setting is needed urgently.

With the increase in the employment rate, the rise in the living standards and income of Canadians would be possible if it were not for the increase in the aging population compared to other age groups within the Canadian economic environment. Therefore, designing the economic strategy that will cause an immediate enhancement of the economic security of Canadians and the enhancement of the market development and growth is an indispensable measure that will allow minimizing the negative impact of the current demographic trends. This paper will argue that three steps will have to be taken in order to reduce the exposure to economic instability for the Canadian society, specifically, increasing business investment, building labour participation, and encouraging immigration and fertility as the source of skilled workforce and, thus, the development of the Canadian competitive advantage in the global market.

The importance of the proposed measures for the prosperity of the Canadian society and the Canadian government’s ability to mitigate the negative effects of the rapid aging of the workforce is self-explanatory. As emphasized above, the increase in the sue of the migrant labour force will allow curbing organizational expenses, at the same time receiving the services if substantial quality. Likewise, the increase e in the labour participation rate will incentivize people so that they perform better and become more invested in their workplace roles, responsibilities, and contribution to the corporate progress. The measures specified above, in turn, will enhance the introduction of the third yet equally as important policy change, which is the increase in business investment and growth. The latter change also has a critical weight in handling the problem of the aging population in Canada since it will compensate for the drop in the amount of workforce caused by the increase in the aging population. Therefore, the measures listed above have to be proposed as the basis for the future policy aimed at maintaining the economic well-being of Canadians and Canada, in general.

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Discussion

The issue of the aging workforce is a rather controversial problem due to the conflict of interests that collide in it. On the one hand, there is the population that has been striving to make ends meet and do their best in their performance. Therefore, the plight of the aging workforce, who are in need for financial resources, is quite understandable. On the other hand, there are the entrepreneurs, who strive to increase the performance of their organizations, whereas the Canadian government is in the middle, trying to balance between the obligation to address the needs of vulnerable social groups, at the same time encouraging economic development and industrial growth. Therefore, the problem needs to be studied through the lens of different theories.

The perception of capital as the main asset of an organization can be applied to the described scenario as the main aspect of the economic theory ta needs to be taken into consideration when making decisions concerning future policies. Namely, the notion of investing in talent management and prompting the development of business to obtain the competitive advantage that will cause an organization to succeed despite the aging staff members is a textbook example of applying the concept of the human capital as a critical part of the economic theory (Čiutienė & Railaitė, 2015). According to the primary foundations of the concept at hand, it is imperative to accumulate human capital and encourage its development (Čiutienė & Railaitė, 2015).

Thus, a company can create premises for its economic development and the improvement in its performance (Čiutienė & Railaitė, 2015). The linkage between the effective management of the human capital ad economic growth within a company has been discovered and supported by numerous sties (Čiutienė & Railaitė, 2015). For a company to succeed and show high performance rates, employees must not feel underestimated. Otherwise, the processes of a broader socioeconomic and sociocultural change, such as emigration, can be launched, causing the state economy to bleed to the point where it is completely drained of its human resources (Čiutienė & Railaitė, 2015). Interpreted as a crucial factor of production according to the key premises of the economic theory, the human capital constitutes an essential part of a company and defines its progress and performance, which is why catering to the needs of the workforce is an important part of managing the human capital.

The current approaches toward the management of the problem of aging workforce used by the federal and local government is far from being ideal. The focus on the labour force participation among older Canadian citizens might seem as a legitimate response toward the current state of affairs, yet its effects have been quite scarce so far. Although the awareness initiative and financial incentives offered to the Canadian workforce have been quite sensible in terms of the management of the human capital, the extent of the performance that the specified population is willing to deliver has been insufficient so far (The Government of Canada, 2018). Therefore, additional measures have to be introduced to address the problem in question and manage the drop in economic growth.

In addition to the challenges of managing the problem on the economic, financial, social, and legal levels, the issue of aging workforce and the impact that it has on the economic performance of Canadian companies, there are several social issues clouting the effective solution of the concern. For example, the fallacy of the lump of labour suggest that the misconception about the existence of an ostensibly fixed amount of work that can be distributed among all staff members is quite common in addressing the problem of workforce aging (Kemmerling, 2016). Due to the emotionally charged topic that the problem of aging workforce represents, disproving the lump of work fallacy and similar logical errors becomes explicitly difficult.

Improving Business Investment and Productivity

The increase in the extent of productivity within the Canadian business environment is expected to level the effects to be produced by the change in the extent of aging among Canadian citizens. By investing in productivity, one will galvanize the business performance of Canadian organizations so that they could set higher goals and attain them correspondingly. The increase in the amount of goods produced and services delivered is expected to occur once Canadian organizations reconsider their policies toward human capital management, investment decisions, and the framework for implementing innovations.

The significance of innovative leadership should come first as the method of setting the rest of the outlined changes into motion. Specifically, by creating the corporate policy and establishing the organizational philosophy that are geared toward continuous incremental change, one will create premises for a better human resource management (HRM) strategy and investment choices (Fonesca, de Faria, & Lima, 2019). Namely, the focus of the investment choices needs to shift in order to attain higher rates of efficiency and address the problem of workforce aging.

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The introduction of the strategies aimed at rethinking the existing investment approach might be seen as a solution to the economic issues that an organization may have once its current workforce begins to age, yet it does not help to manage the emerging ethical concerns. Namely, the current structural initiatives made in the economic realm have created the environment for foreign investments to be directed into the Canadian business environment, yet the lack of the required rapport with the target audiences and communication with potential investors is likely to jeopardize the implementation of the policy (Schneider, Sarnak, Squires, & Shah, 2017). Therefore, the Canadian government would benefit from the introduction of the techniques that could launch active communication between the parties in question and prompt business partnership (Canada Department of Finance, 2012). Specifically, the policy will need to be implemented on economic, sociocultural, legal, and political levels to gain success. For this purpose, the integration of technological advances as the tools for keeping the supply chains of the target organizations consistently effective and properly functioning is needed.

Enhancing the Labour Participation Rate

The described change also aligns with the changes to the current health standards and the perception of health, in general. Specifically, the extent of labour participation can be improved by providing aging staff members with greater opportunities for managing their health concerns and, thus, showing that organizations care for their well-being. Thus, staff members will develop loyalty toward their companies and will feel empowered to perform better and deliver improved results. The report submitted by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (n.d.) shows that the implementation of Medicare and the related reform has created segregation of healthcare services, thus leading to a drop in the quality thereof and the efficacy of treatment, leaving a large number of people without an opportunity to receive proper care (Gagnon, 2014).

The introduction of the healthcare plan that will make healthcare resources available to all employees will produce the change that will affect staff’s performance. With a fewer range of health issues and a greater amount of support from their organizations, government authorities, and healthcare services, aging employees will be able to work to their best abilities and meet the increased quality standards within the Canadian economy more effectively. As a result, the Canadian market will witness an impressive rise in the performance efficacy. However, when implementing the approach based on increasing the labour market participation rates, one should bear in mind that the connection between the specified phenomenon and the notion of performance drop caused by aging are reciprocal.

Increasing the Levels of Immigration and Fertility

While addressing the needs and concerns of the aging population of the UK by offering them workplace opportunities and chances to increase their competence levels are important, companies may also seek additional sources of workforce, which may include migrant labour. Therefore, the policy that will encourage immigration can be seen as an important method of handling the current economic concerns and preventing massive crisis caused by production delays from taking place in the UK economic environment.

In addition to the use of migrant labour as the alternative source of workforce, one may consider incorporating the elements that will encourage a rise in fertility rates into the proposed policy for managing the problem of the aging workforce. It is believed that, by creating the circumstances in which the fertility rates of immigrant women rise, one will prompt a positive shift in the levels of performance among aging employees in Canada. Specifically, the responsibilities that aging staff members can no longer perform will be carried out by new recruits, which are highly likely to be represented by the new generation of migrant workers in the UK. The described idea ha already been considered as a possible tool for advancing the issue of aging workforce. Specifically, the study by Tønnessen (2019) renders the idea of encouraging higher fertility rates among female immigrant workers to create new economic opportunities.

However, in comparison to the rest of the suggestions concerning policy changes, the one regarding the increase in fertility rates has a major disadvantage, which is the length of implementation. Although long-term policies are more likely to become successful since they have longer time for adjustment and the effective integration into the target environment, they also require a much greater range of resources and a much more considerable effort. In addition, given the large scope of the end goal, namely, the rise in fertility rates across the UK, the described policy may need to encompass a much wider range of factors than it possibly can. The issue of fertility is affected by an extensive range of factors, which may pertain to a plethora of health issues in both men and women, as well as an array of socioeconomic contexts, financial issues, and personal concerns (Gagnon, 2014). Therefore, advancing the policy that is supposed to increase the rates of fertility along with the extent of immigration may become far too complex a task to encompass and implement successfully. Therefore, the described tool for resolving the existing problem of aging workforce lacks the substance that the remaining two strategies possess.

Recommendation

Selected Policy: Description

Among the available choices of options for improving the situation with the Canadian workforce and the tendency toward aging among its members, one may prefer the improvement of business investment environment and the overall increase in productivity as opposed to other strategies. The vast opportunities that business investments provide are the main reasons for the specified decision. Indeed, due to the connection to the economic, financial, technological, legal, political, and sociocultural issues, the changes in the business investment policies will affect the situation drastically. Apart from the rapid business growth, options for addressing the needs of the aging workforce and the means of providing them with the required benefits will emerge.

New regulations aimed at addressing the problem of the increase in eh average age of the workforce in the Canadian business environment will allow meeting two main gals, which are creating a comfortable environment for the aging workforce and raising the effectiveness of the current rates of performance. Namely, the suggested approach will allow managing the problem of the reduction in the extent of companies’ performance with the drop in staff’s salaries that will inevitably ensue. Therefore, investing in the development of the approaches aimed at increasing employees’ performance and improving the quality thereof are the main priority for Canadian organizations at present.

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Herein lies the significance of the suggested technique. With the emphasis on the creation of a cohesive and effective talent management framework, one will be able to steer away from the fact that the current situation with the management of the market processes leaves much to be desired. The incorporation of the tools that are aimed at building staff’s competence and creating a friendly environment in which they can function represents a much more important task as a long-term factor of Canadian companies’ performance. Indeed, research points to the evidence proving that the development of a policy aimed at focusing on the needs fo socially vulnerable groups, namely, aging individuals, will affect the workplace setting and make it more flexible. As a result, organizations will be able to see the number of years that their staff members have served in their context as the asset that would be valued and treated with appropriate dignity by the organization.

Justifications for the Choice of the Policy

The justifications for the policy in question are quite basic. As explained above, the focus on satisfying the needs of all stakeholders and creating opportunities for future economic growth are the main determinants of the selection of the said policy. When considering long-term benefits, one should give particular credit to the fact that the company can introduce the strategies that both encourage growth and cater to the health-related, economic, and professional needs of its staff members.

Therefore, there are clear gaps in knowledge about the needs of the aging population and the methods of incentivizing it to excel in its performance, which suggests that additional research should be made to contextualize the existing strategies for talent management, employee engagement, and other approaches toward enhancing staff members’ functioning.

The suggested policy justifies its existence on every level of managing the problem of workforce aging, including the main planes, which are the economic and the social ones. From the economic standpoint, investing in the development and future progress of the existing workforce is much more reasonable than financing the training and professional growth of the staff members that are entirely new to the corporate processes, as well as their roles and responsibilities. Consequently, the introduction of the strategies geared toward the redesign of the organizational environment and the promotion of talent management are critical for handling the problem of aging in staff members. In addition, through the lens of public health and the main tenets of ethics, the support of staff members that face issues linked to aging is a decent and natural step to take. Thus, the incorporation of the policies that will allow increasing the human capital through the redesign of the existing talent management techniques should be recognized as an important step in handling the target situation.

Implementation

Decision

In order to be incorporated into the existing range of policies applied in the workplace environment, the proposed tool for addressing the issues of the aging workforce will require evaluating the current situation and identifying the problems in the existing framework for managing the needs of aging staff members. The assessment of the severity of the situation, the specific needs of aging employees, the current state of entrepreneurship in the UK, and the industries that require especially close focus of policymakers, will have to be performed. The outcomes of the assessment will inform the focus of the policy, the length to which organizations will have to go in order to accommodate the aging workforce, and the methods of encouraging talent management in the organizational environment.

In addition, the assessment will cover a variety of factors that impede aging staff members from performing to the required extent in the organizational environment. Apart from the obvious health-related obstacles, sociocultural constraints, limitations associated with the motivation rates, and other important elements of the workplace and social environment affecting staff members’ choices will have to be analysed. At the same time, it will be crucial to keep the evaluation of the existing problem general enough to be applicable to the context of any industry. Thus, the information that will help to advance companies in every industry in the UK setting will be elicited.

Concept

Shaping the concept of the new policy will also require significant effort, mainly due to the varied needs of the target demographic. While having a very critical characteristic of age in common, the specified population shares very few other features, which makes the application of the proposed policy quite difficult. Therefore, the policy will have to remain flexible, which needs to be implemented at the stage of conceptualization.

Implementation

The process of implementing the policy has to align with the current legal standards for employees and organizations. For instance, the suggestion concerning phasing in as an important process of keeping the extent of the aging workforce’s performance high aligns with the current standards for managing economic relationships between employees and organizations that employ them (Spink et al., 2016). Checking whether the proposed policy meets every existing regulation, especially those that address the vulnerabilities of staff members, will be an absolutely indispensable step to take.

In addition, at the implementation stage, it will be critical to encourage aging workers to accept the idea of change as an inevitable aspect of their workplace experience and an opportunity to enrich their lives with new experiences. For this purpose, several steps will be required. Motivational leadership based on the principles of the Transformational approach will have to be implemented to ensure that the priorities of the staff members

Quality Control

The process of monitoring the implementation of the proposed steps is another aspect of the policy integration that has a paramount effect on the outcomes. Ensuring that aging staff members are provided with the extent of care that they need should be deemed as one of the critical steps of integrating the proposed healthcare policy into the Canadian economic environment. For this reason, regular reports describing the effects of the implemented policy, as well as providing statistical data about employees and their health status, will be required. Quantitative analysis of the changes that the policy is expected to deliver will inform the further choice of tools for managing the problem of aging population. In addition, the tools for institutionalizing change in the Canadian organizational environment will have to be designed, which can be achieved by setting homogenous workplace standards.

Improvements and Adjustments

After key notes on the progress in the designated areas are made, strategies for correcting the future course of actions, forecasting other alterations in the economic setting, and including other tools into the management of the aging workforce will be inferred. It is believed that the suggested course of changes will set the environment for incremental improvements in the organizational environment, thus leading to a steep change in the corporate philosophy of Canadian entrepreneurship. Thus, the companies will be driven by the relationships within its supply chain and especially in their organizational environments. As a result, managers will notice problems faced by employees much faster and respond to them more promptly before the issues associated with aging and challenging tasks grow out of proportion. As a result, Canadian organization will handle the recent rise in the number of aging staff members and the drop in performance rates.

References

Canada Department of Finance. (2012). Economic and fiscal implications of Canada’s aging population. Web.

Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. (n.d.). OECD economic survey of Canada 2010: Healthcare policy roundtable. Toronto, Canada: OECD.

Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2017). National health expenditure trends, 1975 to 2017. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Čiutienė, R., & Railaitė, R. (2015). A development of human capital in the context of an aging population. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 213, 753-757.

Fonseca, T., de Faria, P., & Lima, F. (2019). Human capital and innovation: the importance of the optimal organizational task structure. Research Policy, 48(3), 616-627.

Gagnon, M. A. (2014). A roadmap to a rational pharmacare policy in Canada. Toronto, Canada: School of Public Policy & Administration.

Kemmerling, A. (2016). The end of work or work without end? How people’s beliefs about labour markets shape retirement politics. Journal of Public Policy, 36(1), 109-138.

Schneider, E. C., Sarnak, D. O., Squires, D., & Shah, A. (2017). Mirror, mirror 2017: International comparison reflects flaws and opportunities for better US health care. Toronto, Canada: The Commonwealth Fund.

Spink, J., Fortin, N. D., Moyer, D. C., Miao, H., & Wu, Y. (2016). Food fraud prevention: Policy, strategy, and decision-making–implementation steps for a government agency or industry. CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, 70(5), 320-328.

Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. (2003). Reforming health protection and promotion in Canada: Time to act. Toronto, Canada: The Standing Senate.

The Fraser Institute. (2017). Canada’s aging population and implications for government finances. Web.

The Government of Canada. (2018). Promoting the labour force participation of older Canadians. Web.

Tønnessen, M. (2019). Declined total fertility rate among immigrants and the role of newly arrived women in Norway. European Journal of Population, 1(1) 1-27.

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