On 4-5 July the final conference of the Innov’age project, an EU-funded project on age management, diversity and innovation in the postal sector took place in Strasbourg. This conference aimed at disseminating the results of this innovative project to high-level stakeholders. It gathered more than 50 representatives from European postal operators, universities, other sectors and European institutions.
European postal operators are among the biggest employers in all countries. Together, they employ 1,8 million people across their extensive network. The postal sector itself is undergoing a series of transformation driven by various factors including digitalisation. Changing customer needs and dynamic market demands have pushed postal operators to diversify, embrace new technological innovations and adapt to new situations. The postal workforce is directly impacted by these changes in which adequate skills are sought to fulfil needs and ultimately to support the companies through this period.
Since 2016, the European “INNOV’AGE” Project, a strategic training partnership on diversity, age management and innovation, was applied to the postal sector with a view to deployment in other sectors. The project was led by a consortium of European postal companies, members of PostEurop. The project addresses Europe's significant issue related to the aging population and the need to attract new skills among the younger generations, which implicates the development of multigenerational teams within companies. INNOV’AGE aims to facilitate this new work organization by developing a training module which would lead to a university certification.
The project is funded by the European Commission ERASMUS PLUS programme and brings together ten European partners (Postal Operators, University and experts in occupational psychology) allowing the implementation of a real transnational and European cooperation. The shared objectives being to:
- Develop the employability of all employees (seniors and juniors) of companies
- Valorise intergenerational teams and make them more efficient
- Facilitate and stimulate innovation within the partner's company
At the final conference the main outputs of the project were shared, and in particular the pilot training on intergenerational management that has been built in its framework. Main findings of the project include the necessity for learning-oriented intergenerational teams’ leaders to have the ability to provide accurate feedback to their employees. To be able to adequately improve teamwork these leaders should implement leadership behaviors that foster collectivism and idea sharing benefiting from diverse perspectives, develop an inclusive positive climate, and address diversity through managerial strategies.
During the final conference, a roundtable session gathered representatives from European institutions and the Greek national water supplier company to exchange on how diversity, age management and training can support the transformation. A second focused on age management in the postal sector, in particular best practices from postal companies and the University of Bordeaux. The event gathered around 50 senior management participants from La Poste France, Poste Italiane, Hellenic Post, Cyprus Post, Posta Romana and Bulgarian Post, as well as project partners from the University of Bordeaux, the Greek national water supplier company and representatives from the European institutions. The six European postal operators represent more than 400,000 employees with an average age of above 45 years old.
Focusing on how companies can find innovative means to integrate and train younger employees, Ann Vanden Bulcke, Directorate General Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion, underlined that, “Apprenticeship is a successful form of work-based learning. It has proven to help young people transition from education and training into jobs. Through apprenticeships, young people are able to step on the jobs ladder giving them an opportunity to develop a good career and allows them to follow their passion. Companies that actively engage in apprenticeships open up new doors for young people and in turn, it invigorates their business with the skills that will help them to thrive.”
“In a period of important transformation, age management is a key issue for the postal sector. Our sector has an ageing workforce who has to adapt to new working conditions and new activities. At the same time the sector has to attract new competences and talents to support its diversification, in particular towards digital services. Managing intergenerational teams is therefore an essential challenge to support the transformation. In this sense the training put in place in the framework of Innov’age is an exemplary practice to be spread in different postal operators,” said Margaux Meidinger, Chairwoman of the PostEurop CSR Circle.
For more information on this initiative, please contact:
Chairwoman of the PostEurop CSR Activities Circle
T: +31 55 44 23 73
Communications & Public Affairs Manager
T: +2 2 773 11 92
POSTEUROP is the association which represents European public postal operators. It is committed to supporting and developing a sustainable and competitive European postal communication market accessible to all customers and ensuring a modern and affordable universal service. Our Members represent 2.0 million employees across Europe and deliver to 800 million customers daily through over 175,000 counters.
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