Organizational Hindrances to the Retention of Older Healthcare Workers

Keywords: Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity, Organization & Management


The Swedish healthcare sector is currently experiencing recruitment difficulties combined with increasing demand for healthcare services. This study accordingly seeks knowledge of the obstacles to and opportunities for retaining older employees in the Swedish healthcare sector. Results of interviews with line managers and human resource (HR) partners indicate that the informants have positive attitudes toward older healthcare workers in general, particularly acknowledging their contributions based on long experience and skill. However, line managers’ high workload, the absence of age-management strategies, and universal HR policies not conducive to older workers’ individual needs are considered obstacles to retention on an organizational level. To retain older healthcare workers and maintain their ability and motivation, the healthcare sector and especially HR strategies need to be more proactive in addressing these issues, and formalized policies are required in order to benefit from the potential labor reserve that older employees constitute.

Author Biographies

Robin Jonsson, University of Gothenburg


PhD Student at the Department of Sociology and Work Science. E-mail:

Agneta Lindegård, University of Gothenburg


Associate Professor at the Institute of Stress Medicine

Lisa Björk, University of Gothenburg


PhD, Researcher at the Institute of Stress Medicine

Kerstin Nilsson, Kristianstad University


Professor at the Department of Health Sciences, Kristianstad University, Sweden & Associate Professor at the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University

How to Cite
Jonsson, R., Lindegård, A., Björk, L., & Nilsson, K. (2020). Organizational Hindrances to the Retention of Older Healthcare Workers. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 10(1).