In today’s working environment, the popular issue of discussion is often sexual harassment. Although sexual harassment in the workplace is a very serious issue that should be addressed, there are also other issues in the work environment that many might be blind to.
A lot of us don’t think of ageism in the workplace or even know how to recognize it. For the first time, our society has a total of five generations working together.
There is no question that such a diverse group will have differing opinions and outlooks. These differences can cause problems in the workplace if management has not implemented a system that encourages inclusion and collaboration. However, there are also many benefits to having different generations working together in the same office. Some of the best businesses in America are the ones that accept and incorporate teams made up of people of all different ages. In doing so, they make for a more well-rounded and efficient company.
Like people, every business is different, having a structure and culture unique unto itself. Many businesses are developing strategies to capitalize upon the unique qualifications that each age group has to offer. For those who are new to the concept of ageism in the workplace, here are four common and simple ways that business leaders are developing and incorporating different generations of employees in the workplace.
Utilize the Older Generation’s Wisdom for Mentorship
We can’t deny that with age comes great wisdom. Employing older generations in the workplace is a great way to train and develop new, young talent. Yes, younger generations bring their own set of skills and modern techniques to the table, but seniors are well-seasoned in traditional practices that younger generations are unfamiliar with.
Pairing young talent with older talent is a great way to build relationships in the workplace in addition to establishing a unique learning experience for both the older and younger employees. Making a business relatable to all generations is one of the best ways to build a healthy corporate culture while growing your clientele and consumer base.
Use Seniors as Examples to Inspire Other Employees
Many employers have the preset notion that older employees are risky hires because they can’t keep up or don’t possess the stamina to put in the hours as younger generations can. Contrary to this belief,older employees (baby boomers in particular) get much of their personal esteem and self-worth directly from their own professional accomplishments. They are rarely hesitant to deliver a full day of hard work. As a generation, they are also widely known to be punctual and dedicated to delivering a job well done. This really spotlights the kind of value that older employees bring to the table. You may be surprised to find that they inspire others on your team to step up their game.
Promote your Company’s Age-diverse Culture When Recruiting
Age-diverse company culture can serve as a great competitive advantage for a company and many job seekers recognize that. Those serious about growing their level of expertise as they grow in their career will want to work in a culture that is diverse. By promoting your commitment to having employees in every age group, you widen your reach and have a better chance of gaining interest from both seasoned prospects and individuals open to mentorship. The companies that catch onto this now will not only set themselves up for success but also will begin to set a new standard in hiring.
Welcome and Accommodate Both Senior Citizens and Younger Generations
It is important to recognize the value of every employee no matter how old they are and accommodate them accordingly. Yes, having concrete rules on attendance and hours is important for establishing a level of respect and authority between employees and owners, but it’s also a good idea to be reasonable and understanding of everyone’s schedules and limitations.
As a company, managers and CEOs should recognize that work-life balance is important to all employees. Allow for some flexibility and build in plenty of time off. For example,implementing three weeks of vacation time after one year of employment is just one way a company can reward their employees no matter what age they are. People of all ages appreciate employers that understand they value time with their friends and family.
It is very possible to create a healthy work environment with much diversity. Not just in race and gender, but also in age groups. There is a new and old way to conduct business in every profession – and neither way is “wrong.” Each generation brings a different set of skills and level of expertise to the playing field. When properly incorporated and managed, this can maximize performance within your business as well as provide ample opportunity for growth in skill set. Some of the best corporations and businesses are proud and honored to have employees of all ages.
About the Author: Danielle K. Roberts is a Medicare Supplement Accredited Advisor, member of the Forbes Finance Council and co-founder of Boomer Benefits located in Fort Worth, TX. Her award-winning agency is licensed and appointed in 47 states and has helped tens of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries understand their benefits since 2004. Since starting her agency 14 years ago, she and her brother have grown their agency into a multi-million-dollar company that employs workers of all ages. They were recently awarded the 2019 Health Insurance Advisory Firm of the Year Award by Finance Monthly.
Stewart, Cooper & Coon offers Human Capital Strategy Services to both individuals and corporations. Our staff is dedicated to our clients’ success via innovative job search processes, employment management strategies, and state-of-the-art technologies. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200