Friday, August 22, 2008

Survey: Generational Issues Surface among Workplace Fears of Older Baby Boom Workers

According to a study based on in-depth interviews with 50 over-50 workers, fear of redundancy (layoffs, firings), relevance (keeping skills current), and resentment from younger associates are the greatest concerns for the Baby Boom generation. The research on "Ageism: Managing on the Bias" was conducted by Age Lessons.
Laurel Kennedy, president of Age Lessons, summarized key findings, "Older workers believe that younger associates drop them from critical informal communications networks, turning the office grapevine into a sour grapevine and blocking access to important political and business developments." Another key finding was defined as senior shutout, where companies inadvertently close-off career paths and training opportunities to mature workers, assuming that they either are uninterested or unwilling to accept a new challenge."
Kennedy suggested a number of fixes that companies can implement to maximize workplace morale, inlcuding:
  • awareness training during on-boarding about generational differences, office and meeting etiquette;
  • adopting age-neutral hiring and educational policies that look at the candidate pool irrespective of age;
  • forming intergenerational work teams to ensure cross-pollination across age cohorts; and
  • extending continuing and professional educational opportunities to older workers.
Source: Age Lessons Press Release (August 21, 2008)

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