Network F Supporting the adaptability of firms and employees to structural economic changes and the use of information technology and other new technologies.
Project name Dynamism and Experience – Joint Change Management
Project number F0613

Project description

The past few years saw a rapid development of information and communication technologies. Computers are omnipresent in life and all sectors of the economy - they are used by enterprises, non-government organisations and government institutions. The latest IT and communication systems help to streamline operations and improve effectiveness and competitiveness. However, the technological revolution sometimes proves a mixed blessing. Elderly employees without any previous working experience with advanced technology are ousted from the labour market. Those aged 50+, unfamiliar with information and communication technologies and lagging behind changes occurring in their enterprises, are the first to be dismissed. At the same they are reluctant to learn new skills under continuous development schemes. They are also afraid of competition from younger workers, who - despite a lack of previous job experience - are much better users of computers and other modern equipment. This is often the cause of conflicts which may hamper company growth or careers of individual staff members. Being unable to adjust to the modern business environment, elderly employees face a high risk of redundancy. Their dismissal is detrimental to the entire company, as they take away with them long-term accumulated expertise, while their younger substitutes are likely to commit errors that would be otherwise avoidable. In an attempt to change this situation, the Partnership will develop a
model to enable older employees to acquaint themselves with new technologies so that they are more competitive on the labour market, while remodeling detrimental interpersonal relationships between different age groups and improving company performance. According to available studies, a model of this kind is still to be developed in Poland.

Direct beneficiaries of the Partnership are 210 individuals (employees aged 50+, younger employees and managers) from small and medium enterprises, large companies and public institutions from the western subregion of the Śląskie Voivodship.

The main objective of the Project is to combat discrimination of people aged 50+ by developing and implementing an innovative approach to job maintenance, adaptation of employees to the changes and by putting forward changes to improve company performance and address the needs of individual employees. Project beneficiaries will be split into 70 teams of 3 members each, composed of the representatives of each of the groups. This will make it possible to test new solutions for efficiency under specific working environment, in collaboration with all the actors of that environment. The teams will implement pilot and final version of the developed "intermentoring" method. "Intermentoring" is a modified version of traditional mentoring, or induction of new workers into company operations by senior employees. The added component is the role of technology mentor, i.e. the new employee who will train his elder colleague in information and communication technologies. "Intermentoring" will include training in social skills to support occupational adaptability in the conditions of a market-oriented economy and the changing technological environment. In addition, training will be provided in practical ICT application at work and in up-to-date company management techniques, including the introduction of modern HR management methodology. Managers will have an opportunity to take advantage of a company management system, involving analytical and strategy development
tools intended for small and medium enterprises.

Employees aged 50+ participating in the Project will acquire new ICT skills, while raising awareness of the importance and effectiveness of continuous development. Joint teams of members of three groups of employees (older, young and managers) will improve their collaboration and help to remove company growth barriers. Training in new information and communication technologies will be designed specifically with elderly employees in mind.

The Partnership will prepare and publish reports on the new model approach to providing organisations and companies with support in the area of new technologies and innovative management methodology. The reports will describe expected technology changes on the labour market and analyses of reasons behind labour market inequalities and developments.

The dissemination of new solutions will be an integral part of Partnership's activities. A variety of tools will be used: Project website, leaflets, posters, multimedia presentations, articles and interviews published by local press media, papers in industry publications and conferences promoting the Project. Dissemination activities will be targeted at key labour market actors - enterprises, business organisations, public institutions, non-government organisations, training providers and higher schools.