Immediate supervisors supporting working careers in ageing working life

The main objective of the Immediate supervisor and working careers research project is to enhance supervisors’ skills in late-career leadership. In this study, we developed a peer group-based training intervention for supervisors and tested its efficacy.
Työporukka kokoustaa.




  • To develop a training for supervisors  in order to increase their abilities in late-career leadership and positive age attitudes towards older employees 
  • To improve the quality of the supervisor-employee relationship and the occupational wellbeing and motivation of supervisors and employees.
  • To study the efficacy of the training using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design
  • To understand who benefits the most from the training


Our experts

Henkilökuva: Mervi Ruokolainen

Mervi Ruokolainen

Projektipäällikkö, erikoistutkija

mervi.ruokolainen [at]
+358 30 474 2106

Research group

Terje Leivategija, specialist

Marjaana Pöyry, specialized researcher

Jukka Vuori, head researcher

Telma Rivinoja, senior specialist

Ritva Horppu, senior specialist


The partners for the project are ABB Oy, Elisa Oyj, City of Kouvola, Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing, Orion Oyj, Retta, City of Riihimäki, Teknos Oy and Oy Hartwall Ab


The Finnish Work Environment Fund, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and the workplaces

Data and methods

Seniority skills in use supervisor training

The Seniority skills in use (Kokemus käyttöön työyhteisössä) training enhances supervisors’ abilities to understand the characteristics of a late-career phase, to support older employees to develop their competences, to addresses questions related to work ability and career goals, to customize organizational practices to support older workers and to enhance the cooperation of employees with different ages.

The peer group-based training consists of 3 x 3 hour group meetings, and two short independent assignments completed before and between the training sessions. During the training supervisors discuss in small groups about case examples and descriptions of day-to-day workplace activities from their own perspectives and the perspective of employees.

Study design

The efficacy of the training was assessed through the RCT study design in ten Finnish workplaces. The supervisors and employees first responded to the baseline surveys, after which the supervisors were randomized into the intervention and comparison groups. The intervention group (n = 108) took part in the training immediately after the randomization, while the comparison group (n = 108) waited for its training, which took place after the last follow-up survey.

The supervisors responded to the follow-up surveys immediately and six months after the training of the intervention group. The employees responded to their follow-up surveys two and six months after the training of the supervisors in the intervention group.

Results and impact

Seniority skills to use is an evidence-based training program that workplaces can apply in the development of age and career management.

The efficacy results of the study will be published in May 2023.