Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Who Says it’s Time to Put the Old Dog on the Porch...?

...normally the young dog.

Give a nanosecond of thought to the 90s .com boom: the runaway mentality that future business hinged on youth and all that they embodied: energy, drive, originality, innovation, open collars, and . . . really, really bad hairstyles (remember Mr. Richard Li’s?). If so, also ponder the ensuing dot.bomb . . . errr . . . dot.com crash and you may question such wisdom.

Which is why - maturity in the workplace does matter
Contrary to young dog belief, ageing is not a downward spiral from 30-something perfection. Don’t get us wrong, the older we get the more susceptible to illness we become and some of us tend to move a little slower. However, numerous areas improve - we gain knowledge and experience; and have a vault of precedents on file that avoid us from making the same mistake a fourth time.

Older people have as good memories as younger people. Most mature people react slower because they're considering the best option, not because they’re only hearing every fifth word.

Studies show that older people are happier and more considerate at work than younger staff. Mature staff creates a better team spirit; are less concerned about status, know their priorities and work to achieve them.

In addition, older workers:

  • have lower absenteeism rates than younger employees,
  • have lower turnover rates than younger employees,
  • are generally more loyal employees,
  • have less job injuries than younger employees, and
  • are less likely to steal from your company

When hiring a mature employee:
Recruitment is of the essence: select candidates who share your values, culture and objectives, rather than people you think can grow into the firm. Look for achieved knowledge and experience.

Older people work best in teams: but, as with any team, put them together so their roles and personalities fit.
Manage from alongside, not from above: especially if you are a younger manager. You may even stumble upon a mentor and learn something.


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