Strategy & Leadership

Confidence or Complacency?

April 22, 2014


April 22, 2014

Victoria van Lennep
Contributor, The Economist Intelligence Unit

Victoria is Head of Operations at Lendable, a peer-to-peer lending platform. Previously Victoria worked as a deputy editor in the EIU's Thought Leadership team. She holds a Bachelor and a Master in Economics from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and an MSc in Environmental Policy from the University of Oxford.

“Confidence or Complacency?” is an EIU report sponsored by Towers Watson exploring some of the issues that senior executives in Germany will have to address as they seek to adapt their organisations to an ageing workforce

Workforce ageing will hit Germany sooner than any other European country. Are the nation’s executives right to be so relaxed about the impact? Historically low birth rates and increasing life expectancy mean that Europe’s working population is ageing fast. In 2012 the continent reached an inevitable demographic tipping point. The percentage of the population of working age fell for the fi rst time in 40 years. It is now forecast to fall every year until 2060. This inescapable trend will have profound implications for governments, citizens and companies across Europe.

The working population is ageing fastest in Germany, and many of its companies are leading the way when it comes to adapting to demographic change. Those that have yet to act have little time for further delay, as Germany has less room for manoeuvre than the continent’s other large economies, according to the European Commission.

To explore some of the issues that senior executives will have to address as they seek to adapt their organisations to this new world, The Economist Intelligence Unit, on behalf of Towers Watson, surveyed 480 senior executives at companies across Europe, of which 56 are in Germany. Almost two-thirds (58%) of German respondents expect the number of their employees aged 60+ to increase by 2020, including 7% who expect it to increase significantly. 

This report explores some of the major issues that senior German executives will have to address as they seek to adapt their organisations to this new world.

This report is one of a series of country reports, following the European report which can be read 

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