Posted on by Jessica Peaty

Age is not important unless you are a cheese

With the age of people retiring rising, the number of employees over the age of fifty has increased by 2.5 million in the last year. New technological and advanced medical developments over the last decade has led to an increase in life expectancy and working for longer in the workplace will become more common in every business. Longer working lives can affect the way in which employers have to manage their business, ensuring that they are creating an age friendly workplace across the board.
Although it is actually illegal to discriminate against someone due to their age, it’s a known fact that people who are looking to re-enter employment after the age of 50 find it considerably difficult to secure a job.

With the workplace and society as a whole ageing it is time for employers to abolish the stereotypes that come with employing older men and women and focus on the benefits of employing people who actually come with a substantial increase of experience and a wider range of skills. Stereotyped as technophobes of the modern era, employers can sometimes be seen as resilient to hire the older generations of people.
As the economy continues to grow and companies expand, the need for more robust management experience is becoming a more common occurrence, meaning older employees are more valuable now than ever.

So what exactly are the qualities found in older employees that can positively influence your business?

Strong leadership skills
Strong leadership stems from one thing; good communication. A skill that can be argued as being lost in a society ruled by social networking and technology. Face to face communication skills are by far the most effective in a business environment and older employees can be the best mentors for junior staff to learn from on a day to day basis.

Commitment
Older people have years more experience in the working world and are less likely to be looking for the next move like younger workers who are more likely to consider themselves at the beginning of their career ladder. Being comfortable in their job enables them to be more focused and enjoy the stability they have in a position they have worked all their lives to get.

Strong Networks
Years of experience comes with years of networking. They’ve had more opportunity to meet people in different industries and build a professional network of all levels. Bringing new people and experiences to your work community.

Adaptable
No one has experienced change like the older generations. Industries have expanded globally, technology has transformed the working world they knew into skype calls and go 2 meetings. Social change has secured equality and participation in the workplace never before witnessed.
Throughout their years of working and essentially, living older workers have seen unprecedented change in their professional and personal lives, accepted the new circumstances and requirements, and quickly and successfully adapted. Exactly the type of attitudes you want to introduce into your workplace.

 

So while the above contains misguided stereotypes of both the young and the old, it brings forward the need for trying to gain some rebalance in the workplace. It is just as important to have the influence of older employees as it is to give opportunities to the hip modern graduates that keep your team fresh and evolving. Employees should be valuing absolutely everybody and avoid the tendency to value people who are economically active.

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