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Handling Age Difference in the Workplace for a Positive Experience
People are entering the workforce younger and getting out of it later in life, according to business experts. This fact means one thing: that the age gap in some offices is getting larger, and it could be getting more difficult to manage. Age differences in the workplace don?t have to be a cause for arguments and conflict, however. Having people of different ages working together can actually be a positive experience for everyone involved, both professionally and personally. How the age difference question plays out in your office all comes down to how you handle it.
Age differences have always been an issue in the workplace. A generational gap between the old guard and the up and comers has always been unavoidable, but people knew how to manage it in a world where people got one job when they were started out in the working world and stayed with that company throughout their careers. However, those days are gone for good. People tend to bounce from job to job, out of choice or out of necessity, and so that means many workers have to adjust to age differences in the office place while adjusting to new jobs, period.
Even this sense of bouncing around to different jobs can inflame the age difference issue. Older people may not relate to the younger generation?s ways of moving from job to job and drive to find a career that not only makes them money but that they also love. This culture class can cause misunderstandings and tension in the workplace.
What is happening more often with the changing work market is that many younger people are finding themselves in the position of managing older people. Because younger people tend to change jobs more, and because they grew up in the computer generation, they often have more qualifications than older workers. This can cause tension on both sides. Older workers can feel under appreciated and passed over for a job that should have been theirs because of seniority, and younger bosses may feel funny about telling older employees what to do, and correcting them when they make a mistake, because they are supposed to respect their elders. Is there any way to avoid these conflicts at work so that age doesn?t become an issue?
The first way to make sure age isn?t an issue is to simply decide that it isn?t one. If you have younger boss, keep in mind that they were hired for a reason, and be open to the things you can learn from them. If you are in charge of managing an older team, don?t go easy on them because of their age. They won?t respect you for it, and you will only be emphasizing the difference between you. Instead, treat them as you would any other employee, while making personal allowances for some resistance to chance on their part. A certain amount of ?in my day? kind of talk is inevitable. Accept it and take it on board ? you might even learn something ? but have confidence in enforcing the decisions you make at the same time.
The other best way to manage age differences in the office place is to always keep the lines of communication open. If you are a younger manager in charge of an older team, make an active effort to solicit their opinions and to be available to them when a problem arises for them. If you are an older person in the office wondering about how to relate to the younger workers, ask questions. A glimpse into their world may do wonders for your ability to understand and relate to them. Not only will you become more effective co-worker, you might even end up being friends.
Reduce Employee Turnover and Produce a Great Employee For so many businesses in the United States it is the same picture they see year in and year out. Employees come, get trained, start to be efficient at work and then they leave. The company needs to train somebody new. To reduce employee turnover and produce a great employee, many things need to be established within a company as a support structure. Many companies so often neglect to ask and wonder what their employees might like or think would be helpful to make their work environment and conditions positive ones. Whether owning a small or a large company, your immediate concerns probably lie within making profits to be able to keep the company running and to be able to pay your employees. Of course, running a company takes a lot of effort and work hours spent solely on that. But every time one of your employees leaves, you loose capital--capital you have invested in his or her training and knowledge. The knowledge capital you loose is all the information that the employee has absorbed during his or her employment at your company and all the new skills he or she might have added during the course of his employment. So how can you make your company and working for your company more attractive and also produce great employees? There are many ways that this can be accomplished, most of them are rewards to the employee, but others that are just as important include the atmosphere and conditions at the workplace. This article will discuss just a few of the many possibilities you as an employer have to keep employee turnover low. For most employees, considering that they have an expectation towards the standard of living they have, a competitive salary is an important point. If you only pay minimum wages or never give raises and rewards, it is very unlikely to hold good employees that can make a lot more money somewhere else. To make their time worthwhile after hiring, you need to know what a competitive pay is and pay them either the average pay or slightly more. As for raises, raises together with evaluations will tell the employee that his or her effort and all the hard work he or she put into your company is appreciated. It also tells the employee how good his work is and what you will expect from him in the years to come. To produce a good employee, it is important to give the employee feedback on his work. Some companies reward their employees with bonuses for accomplished tasks or finished projects. Other companies will give their employees an award at the end of the month or year and generally attach a small bonus to that. Also consider a good benefit package. Many employees look for the benefits that companies offer to them and their family to make a decision whether they should work for this company or choose a different one. Often times, vacation is very important to employees. To be a motivated and good worker, employees need to spend time with their families or the things they love, like hobbies or sports. Yes, of course you would like them to work 60 hours for the 40 you pay, but consider this: an overworked overtired employee is most likely not able to work fast and efficient. That person also tends to be more error prone and unmotivated. Time off work to relax or regenerate is very important. Companies that offer ten days are often at the top of the list for employee turnover. Some companies offer flexible work times to accommodate for many different characters and situations at home. The employee that likes to come early and leave early versus the employee that likes to sleep long and then leave somewhat later feels just as welcome in this company or setting. Besides all these added factors, the work environment also plays a great role in producing great employees and reducing turnover. A respectful and good working environment is very important to keep employees happy and motivated. You know that a happy, motivated employee works better, faster and makes fewer mistakes.