At work all age groups work together under one roof and that is what makes a company more customer friendly as well as creates a healthy environment for all. But younger workers consider older employees as less capable, diligent and lack the passionate spirit to work, but this is not true as the baby boomers are the most experienced and are the competent workers in every company. They have a higher degree of focus and often work more tenaciously towards their task, thus completing it in a timely manner. There are some of the ways by which one can overcome ageism at work and they are:
Tips for Managing With Ageism at Work:
The following mentioned are few tips on dealing with age discrimination in the workplace.
1. Form a team of diverse individuals:
The team, which is formed to accomplish a work must have a diverse age individuals like in a team there must be freshers, trainees, young and even the most experienced ones. The teams made in this manner will not only be more effective and yield better results, but also help in overcoming ageism in the workplace. Every age group contributes its work in some or the other manner like the youth has the spirit of learning that helps in doing the work efficiently while the experienced ones are there to guide the younger staff. So, one should make a team with varied age groups to combat ageism.
2. Do frank discussions on such topics:
Such topics need to be looked at with full intricacy as these issues become intense for both the company and its work. If older and experienced one’s will not be present in the company, then there will be no one to show the right path and guide the amateurs. After all, the company cannot run only on the basis of amateurs and the younger staff. The natural cycle, which says the young be guided by the oldest and well known one’s should not be changed.
3. Be positive:
The young blood lacks patience and it’s true to much extent. It at times become difficult to understand the manner of working of the elder staff because they have their own way of working and completing the things. At those times the young blood need to be tolerant and absorbent towards what they do and perceive because what they do is all as per their experience and skills they attained over the years.
4. Airing the grievances of both the younger and the older staff:
For the company and its goodwill, both the younger and the older staff are essential. Both the types of people are needed to impart a balance in the company. Indeed the fact that the companies do not like older people as they are to be paid more as compared to the young staff who also provide better work in quick possession when compared to the older staff. Still the companies need to air the grievances of dual age groups. When the problems of both the kind of staff will be addressed, then there will be less trifle and the ageism at work will be dealt effectively.
5. Being healthy is the key:
Only when you are healthy you will be able to put in great health and concentrated efforts in the work, but if you are very lethargic and remain sick quite often then no one would like to provide you a job as the company wishes to have very quick and spontaneous people. Here age discrimination cases appear. If you look fragile, does not dress smartly and are slow in ever work you do, no company will entertain you. So, it is necessary to be healthy and also look healthy.
6. Keep your opinion flexible:
The aged professionals are no different. They will probably have their own expectations, their own values, ideas and beliefs, their own likes and dislikes, but that’s not an issue, everyone has; but the thing is if any of the opinions are contradicting, then they may become a victim of ageism. To prevent that discrimination in workplace, one needs to be flexible, should be open to welcome the young opinions and also one should be open to the changes being brought in the workplace.
7. Ageism is not bad; it has a number of positives:
Although ageism has many factors that are negative, but there are also many which work in its favour like experience, skills, professional way of handling the work, office politics, management of work, dealing with people, awareness on varied topics, being a mentor and guide to the young one’s and many more are there, which if used in a positive manner can help a person achieve unprecedented heights. So, bring forth such positive qualities and you will be successful in managing with the ageism at work.
8. Be confident and proud of yourself:
Being confident is vital and also you should be proud of yourself; that you are able to reach at this point of life where you are becoming a mentor to the young one’s, If you will be proud of you then the whole world will be for you, but if you are not confident of the skills you possess, mind it no one else will. So, it is important to know your own worth first and then let others see your skills and the experience.
9. Show an initiative to learn new technology – know the technology:
New technologies come one’s way as a greater challenge and to win over that challenge, you have to be technology savvy. Be open to welcome all sorts of challenges at workplace. The young staff usually is flexible enough to learn new things, but it takes time for the old and aged staff to learn the new things and bring changes in their already managed work behavior. So, for that you have to show an initiative towards the new technology, although it will take time, yet it will be beneficial for you as well as for the company.
10. Fight the apprehension you hold inside you:
There is no question if there will be any workplace discrimination between the older and the new staff. It’s with you that whether you let this question be a fear in your mind or no. you just do not have to think of the impossible, being positive is the part of the trick that needs to be played. You have to tell yourself you are competent, you are still expressive, valuable and effective in doing the work being assigned to you.
11. Be friendly and little jolly:
The jolly and welcoming attitude will help a lot in fighting the effects of ageism at work. The young blood is always very energetic, spontaneous and friendly towards the worst of the situations. That is what makes them more challenging and demanding for the companies, but need not worry, you also possess many numbers of skills that they can never attain unless they get experience over the years. You need to be friendly and jolly in the workplace. The experienced ones are considered to be serious and connected with the wok all time. This attitude of being workaholic is good for the company, but to survive with the young staff, you need to be among them to be victorious over the ageism issue at the workplace.
12. Make use of the correct language:
At the workplace, you will have to take care of the language you use. Like you have a lot of experience and you are known to all the technical jargon, but the other staff may not be aware, so for that reason you will have to use simple and informal language. This is because the younger staff may feel shy and even they might have a fear of asking you over and over again the meaning of the same word, so to prevent such a communication barrier, use very easily understandable language. Use less of the formal and the technical words as this will only affect the communicative behavior.
13. Look strong and determined:
Being strong does not mean being a wrestler, but being strong and firm in terms of energy. During the interview, you need to upend the assumption that the older one lacks energy and strength. You need to end and also start the interview showing you do not lack energy, and are determined towards the goal. You have to prove others wrong who hold the perception that older people are less capable of working in the fast pace work environment.
So, above are some of the points that must be kept in mind to tackle with the issue of ageism at work. Many companies consider only the young staff as they think better to invest on the young blood who demand less salary yet give the best output. While many companies like to have the most experienced staff so as to get the best work done in a professional manner. Whatever is the reason and the demand of the market, the companies cannot avoid them.