Engaging older workers: The role of a supportive climate

Steven Kilroy, Karina van de Voorde, Dorien Kooij, Sophie Van Dungen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The purpose of this study is to investigate if a supportive psychological climate specifically aimed at older workers (i.e. employee perceptions that the organization supports and activates older workers) will result in higher levels of older workers' vitality and dedication mediated through increased levels of older workers' perceived organizational support (POS).

The authors conducted a two-wave survey study among 209 older university employees (aged above 45 years) using structural equation modeling.

The results revealed that a change in supportive psychological climate is positively associated with a change in vitality and dedication, which was mediated by a change in POS.

Practical implications
Since workforces are aging around the world, one of the most pressing challenges for human resource managers is to find effective strategies to encourage older workers to remain engaged and active members of the workforce for as long as possible. In this study, the authors demonstrate that a supportive psychological climate for older workers is particular important in this regard.

The main contribution of this study is that it identifies the important role of a supportive psychological climate for older workers in predicting older workers engagement i.e. vitality and dedication, while also shedding light on the underlying mechanisms involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-351
JournalJournal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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