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Monday, 03 March 2014 08:06

Don't write off your older workforce

Focus on retaining your older veterans with these tips...

man-at-workMore and more workers are delaying retirement. Their desire to stay on the job longer doesn’t mean they’ll put up with patronizing treatment from their managers, though. Focus on retaining your older veterans with these tips:

• Maintain your self-confidence. If you’re younger than the workers you manage, the age difference may make you feel uncomfortable. Remember that people want to follow leaders who believe in themselves, no matter what their age. Don’t treat older employees differently than the rest of your staff. Everyone will sense a double standard.

• Define reporting relationships clearly. An older employee’s experience can be intimidating or even threatening to the rest of your staff. Clarify the worker’s role so everyone understands where he or she fits into the workplace structure. This will help your current workforce to be more open and receptive to the older person’s ideas.

• Take advantage of their experience. An older employee’s institutional knowledge and greater range of expertise can be a valuable tool to your organization. Put their experience to work: Bounce your new ideas off the person. Try turning the veteran into an “internal consultant” who can bring new perspectives and knowledge to your organization. Show that you respect your older employees’ experience, and you’ll make them feel wanted and valued.

—Adapted from the Minneapolis/St. Paul City Business magazine

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