Older healthcare workers' satisfaction: managing the interaction of age, job security expectations and autonomy

Document Type


Source of Publication

Employee Relations

Publication Date



Purpose: Demographic changes involving a worldwide ageing population and later retirements produce a gradual ageing of the workforce and major concerns about how ageing may influence the workplace. This paper aims to provide evidence relating to older workers in healthcare settings in Australia. Design/methodology/approach: Using a secondary quantitative dataset, the authors sub-sampled a group of workers in the healthcare sector. We used linear regression arrangement with hypotheses focused on the assessment of the significance of interaction or moderation effects relating to job characteristics and age on employee satisfaction. Findings: The authors note that older workers' job satisfaction is negatively influenced by poor perceptions of job security and autonomy in how their work is carried out. Ensuring that older workers stay in the healthcare workforce is imperative as the work force ages. This paper shows that managing their job security and offering them work autonomy enhance their job satisfaction. Research limitations/implications: The use of a secondary and cross-sectional dataset has some limitations relating to endogeneity, although these have been managed and assessed. The paper is based on a representative sample of Australian workers, and is thus generalisable within the Australian context, and will be informative elsewhere. Practical implications: The focus on elements of flexibility for older workers (enhanced autonomy) and clearer job security elements is of practical relevance in the management of older workers. Social implications: As the overall population ages, supporting older workers in their careers will be of increasing importance. In sectors with a disproportionate share of older workers, like health care, this imperative will come sooner, and the benefits of getting arrangements right be will higher. Originality/value: No other paper has explored these specific relationships empirically that the authors are aware of. This work is original in terms of its assessment of questions of what second-order effects exist in predicting employee satisfaction among older workers.








Employee attitudes, Flexible labour, Older workers

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Indexed in Scopus


Open Access