An expert has warned against allowing workers to coast towards retirementEmployers must avoid allowing workers to drift towards retirement if they are not meeting the requisite standards and should not let loyalty dissuade them from maintaining performance, an expert has suggested.

Institute for Employment Studies principal research fellow Helen Barnes accepted that many bosses are hesitant to criticise employees who have often provided decades of good service, but claimed some may find it difficult to maintain concentration.

“In some firms, there is a kind of implicit idea that perhaps people will lose motivation or interest,” she explained. “Linked to that is an idea of wanting to be fair and not wanting to be heavy-handedly managing performance.”

Ms Barnes observed that teachers find it particularly difficult to work as effectively as they did earlier in their career as they approach retirement, but added some organisations have a wider problem when it comes to monitoring performance.

Her comments came after the government announced the current default retirement age will be scrapped by October 2011.

Posted by Colette Paxton