They’re often first in line when it comes to lay-offs and redundancy programs, partly because of a misconception that they are running out of steam and have less to offer than their younger counterparts—and party because they are (ipso facto) more expensive to employ given their longer service and further progression along pay-scales.
Which is a shame bordering on stupidity—because not only are older workers a tremendous repository of experience and expertise which companies often fail to tap into and dispose of at their peril, they are also by nature more mature and invariably more effective in customer facing roles. They can mentor younger members of staff, act as a common sense handbrake on ridiculous initiatives and play a key role in constructing company training and other learning-related programs.
These aren’t the only reasons to be thoughtful about how you treat older workers. A surge of age discrimination complaints will not help your company’s reputation given the shift in world population dynamics towards a growing older generation. And without the good old ‘baby boomer’ (born between 1946 and 1964), where will candidates come from to fill key jobs?
According to an article in the Daytona Beach News Journal, the 33 million people aged over 65 in the US at the beginning of this millennium will become more than 70 million by 2030. So—older people will be an increasingly important source of staff for all businesses, like it or not.
For the reasons I gave earlier, by the way—I think you should not only like it, but embrace the fact that you’ll have such an extensive pool of mature talent to choose from.
Is your company guilty of contributing to the grey ceiling?
Tags: age discrimination baby boomer common sense counterparts daytona beach news daytona beach news journal discrimination complaints handbrake key role misconception old baby older workers pay scales peril population dynamics raw deal redundancy running out of steam staff act world population