Older workers are different from younger ones preferring jobs with role clarity with an emphasis on loyalty and independence.
They also prefer to work where everyone knows each other, is from a variety of backgrounds, and is treated as individuals with unique skills.
They are less comfortable in insecure jobs even though there might be opportunities for high pay. This might reflect family responsibilities or concerns about affording retirement.
In terms of personality factors emotional stability, rule consciousness, and self-reliance, increase with age but factors like liveliness, abstractedness, apprehension, and tension decrease.
These findings were reported by Gulko and Deakin in a report “Age and Work Characteristics: The role of Personality” at the British Psychological Society conference in Brighton.
The authors said that given the ageing workforce this knowledge “can help employees with (the) attraction, selection, and retention of employees”.
Fellow psychologist Malcolm Starkey has directed me to some research at the University of Antwerp described on his OPPC blog.
This looks at generation differences in relation to motivation and finds that older workers are not less motivated – just motivated by different things.