40 Percent of Employees of Russian Central Government Now Over 50; Regional and Local Ones Far Younger
June 27 -- From 48 to 68 percent of Russian government employees at all levels
are between 30 and 49; but almost 40 percent of all federal employees are above
50, while only 20 percent of municipal workers and 13 bureaucrats in the
regions are members of that age cohort, according to a new study.
of the very different life experiences of these groups given the radical
changes in Russia over the last 40 years – older workers well remember Soviet
times and were formed by them while younger works came of age either in the
1990s or under Vladimir Putin – these cohorts have an uneasy relationship with
study by Natalya Ivanova of the Higher School of Economics and Irina Shvanova
of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service says, many younger
workers view their elders as “ballast” who are no longer effective as
bureaucrats and are blocking their own paths upward.
share of the oldest government employees, those over 60, varied even more
widely than this larger divide, with “almost six percent” of federal employees
now over that age, while only 1.7 percent of bureaucrats at the regional level
were 60 or above, Ivanova and Shavnova say.
government employees have a lot to offer if they are used as advisors and
mentors, the scholars say, rather than in line positions, an arrangement that allows
them to cope with declining health, their slower adaptation to change and new
technologies, and the attitudes of younger workers.
arranging things in this way, Ivanova and Shavnova says, will require a
revolution in management thinking because often older workers hold on to line
positions long after they cease to be effective and are reluctant to move into
advisory ones.Consequently, they
suggest, senior managers must be made sensitive to the needs of senior
employees and the best way to use them.
get the most out of senior workers, they suggest, the system needs to create
special conditions of work for them, provide educational opportunities for a group
often thought beyond the need for training, and help prepare the older workers
for life after retirement, including a possible shift to positions in the
a third of all senior workers in the government are interested in going into
some kind of entrepreneurial activity after they receive their pensions.“However, personal desire is not sufficient,”
and top managers must transform the system so that their interests can be
maximized, especially at a time when the Russian workforce as a whole is aging so