Older workers in the alcohol and other drug sector: Predictors of workforce retention

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    Objective: Older workers are increasingly prevalent in health and human services, including the alcohol and other drug (AOD) sector. Their turnover intentions have important implications for service system stability and retention. Methods: Descriptive and regression analyses of survey data examined age-related differences (<50, ≥50 years old) in non-government workers’ demographic, health and professional profiles and predictors of turnover intention. Results: Older workers (≥50 years, n = 86) comprised one-third of this workforce. Compared to younger workers (n = 164), they experienced greater discrimination but higher work-life balance and work engagement. Turnover intention was predicted by job satisfaction, discrimination and work engagement. Conclusion: Older workers’ well-being and workforce retention are essential for effective leadership, succession planning and service continuity. Their needs and retention motivations are identified. Age-specific support mechanisms, proactive retention and anti-discrimination strategies are identified priorities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
    Early online date22 Feb 2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2021


    • discrimination
    • drug and alcohol workers
    • non-government alcohol and other drug sector
    • older workers
    • workforce development
    • workforce retention


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