21 January 2021 10:01
This often expressed as prejudices or stereotypes about the abilities, knowledge and, skills of age groups - and these can vary from industry to industry and the age demographics concerned.
Although some companies and industries may prefer certain types of employees, for example; younger or middle-aged people, age differences can be beneficial for almost any organisation in terms of team dynamics and skills diversity. If we imagine one company with a group of employees of different age groups, we can conclude they will have many diverse skills and talents acquired during a lifespan. Furthermore, they will have a greater diversity of skill sets than a company that purely aims to employ just young, or just older workers.
If we take a somewhat stereotypical example, let us assume that a younger employee may be in fact be more accustomed to using modern business media - such as social networking. On the other hand, an older worker in the same position may have interpersonal and communication skills that have been specifically developed and honed for the industry. Perhaps the younger worker is familiar with the use of modern technologies, it is these skills that young people possess that can be used to train older workers. In much the same way, the older worker may be able to impart some of the interpersonal techniques that they have learned over time to their younger colleague.
Besides, sharing experiences and passing on knowledge from generation to generation can be a good way to develop interpersonal relationships among employees. According to research, age diversity has a positive effect on employee productivity and performance as well. That is, productivity is significantly higher when mixed-age workers are represented in companies.
With that being said, it’s a sad fact that ageism can appear in any company, and it can manifest itself in many situations. For example, additional training, more opportunities to gain new knowledge and skills, or participation in conferences may be more often offered to younger employees, on the assumption that older employees either cannot or should not take advantage of the same opportunities.
Ultimately, different workers have different skills, and a varied workplace, is a strong workplace. Age diversity in companies allows for a wealth of different experience, perspectives and expectations. The end result is likely to be a stronger and more innovative work environment for all.