Why we don’t like age-related colleagues and how fair it is
Employees of retirement and pre-retirement age are often valuable professionals with extensive work experience and in some cases are cheaper than their younger colleagues. This is what makes employers put up with the peculiarities of older employees.
Relationships between young and old people are never simple. Changing epochs, material conditions of life, methods and technologies of communication sometimes lead to a complete lack of understanding.
“At your age, we melted steel, saddled horses, obeyed our elders, “”everything was wrong,” and so on.
– typical statements that young people have always had to listen to in conversations with their elders.
The older ones torment the younger ones with questions:
“How does it turn on?”, ” What does it mean?”, ” Why is it necessary?”, ” What is this nonsense?”, etc.
However, problems are faced not only by older people who have entered the world of youth, but also by young people who coexist with the carriers of the former mentality.
In General, the difficulties that arise in the younger generation with those who are over… are the same as those that arise for each of us in communicating with our parents. Therefore, our article will be useful for both “fathers” and”children”. The first will be able to look at themselves from the outside, and the second-to assess their immediate future
One of the most frequent complaints about “age — related” employees is inappropriate, non-constructive behavior with management and colleagues.
Typical example. The technology company’s Department employs an experienced employee at the age of 60 who has a deep knowledge of their field.
By the decision of his superiors, he participates in all working meetings and sometimes criticizes some decisions. However, after a while, he begins to criticize almost every word of the meeting participants, based on their qualifications and experience.
As a result, not only does the authority of the management suffer, but its orders are blocked. It turns out that in order to make decisions, the management must first get the approval of the employee, which simply slows down the work.
An employee is fired, which, of course, damages the company. However, the damage from blocking the decisions of the authorities would be even greater
After working for many years, a person really acquires significant experience and unique knowledge, but any knowledge and experience becomes outdated. Older, well-deserved employees often do not understand this.
As a result, such an employee sometimes begins to make decisions and take responsibility for processes too easily, without being able to see their modern features.
This approach leads to failures and failure to meet the goals. In addition, confidence in your unique experience and knowledge makes you neglect to obtain modern knowledge and skills, prevents the assimilation of new information.
Desire to teach
This is usually due to two reasons-excessive respect for one’s own knowledge and experience and a desire to dominate at the expense of them.
This takes time from colleagues and creates a tense atmosphere. Some people consider their advanced age a merit in itself.
The expectation of leniency
“I didn’t have time because my memory is weak, I forgot”, “I was late because I walk slowly”, etc.
If colleagues and management do not prevent this, this approach eventually leads to serious violations of discipline, seduces and demotivates other employees
A comical and at the same time unpleasant incident occurred in a small company of the Northern “oil-producing” city.
The head very much respected the elderly lady-the chief accountant for experience and because of her age, as he was brought up in respect for his elders.
However, the woman drank, and the periods of aggravation surprisingly coincided with the layout of the budget and payroll.
It is not surprising that the lady periodically made mistakes. One day, she counted the vacation pay of one of the young employees in such a way that she remained in debt to the company.
A young employee complained to her boss and was reprimanded for disrespecting an older employee. The “suddenly blinded” management reacted to subtle hints about inappropriate behavior of the chief accountant as to dirty gossip.
The result was that the chief accountant, who had lost her adequacy, almost disrupted the production process by appearing to the night shift workers in a deranged state and openly interfering with their work. The shift Manager had no choice but to call security.
The CEO had to admit the obvious and fire the chief accountant in disgrace.
One of the most serious problems. In some cases, slowness, inability to keep up with the pace of the office-for older people, the thing is quite objective.
In such cases, if an employee is valuable, HR consultants suggest reviewing their workload, reducing their working hours, or changing their schedule.
If this is just an excuse to regularly violate discipline, reprimand and subsequent dismissal — the inevitable reaction of management
It is usually expressed in the imposition of old and often outdated norms of behavior.
One middle-aged employee of an it company was constantly shocked by greetings such as “Hello, omelet”, “hi” and even “Hello to all”, because, according to his previous experience, such “frivolous” game greetings marked disrespect for colleagues.
The results of this misunderstanding are obvious. An older employee either keeps dissatisfaction in himself, which leads to his demotivation, or expresses it, which creates conflict and demotivating situations in the team.
Many older colleagues usually expect to be called by their first and middle names. Now this is very rare. But it is not uncommon for the absence of such treatment to be perceived as disrespect by the elders.
Inadequate perception of behavior and attitudes of others
Employees formed in Soviet and early post-Soviet collectives have a different attitude to collective actions, personal space, and expression of emotions.
For example, a smile and friendliness may seem to them an expression of a personal relationship, some special sympathy.
If the Manager does this, the” age ” employee may consider this behavior an indicator that they have become favorites. If a person of the opposite sex behaves this way, it can be perceived as a flirtation, a desire to develop a closer relationship.
Older people — because with age, a person’s private life becomes much more important than everything else-tend to be overly Frank and even Intrusive in their stories about their health and their life, as well as about the health and life of their grandchildren, children, and loved ones.
Excessive cordiality is also very common for people who grew up in the Soviet era.
Colleagues have to try all the pies that an older employee brings, or firmly refuse if they adhere to the food restrictions that are now so common among young people.
Older people do not always understand the idea of personal space and unceremoniously invade it, asking about other people’s personal lives and telling them in detail about their own.
At the same time, they periodically tend to be cautious and do not talk about things that are really important to colleagues: for example, about problems that can affect the work, about the lack of information to solve work issues, and so on.
The habit of making empty promises is a Vice common to young people . But in older people, it can take a clinical form.
A Moscow it company hired a middle-aged employee of the back office.
Wanting to prove himself, he agreed with all the proposals of colleagues and promised to fulfill all their requests, but, of course, was not able to do this — not only because of the limitations of his own forces, but also because of the size of the budget.
With the help of constant excuses and promises, this man lasted six months, but then he was dismissed with a Bang.
As it turned out, during this time, he did not complete any tasks.
High career expectations
On the Russian market, in most industries, the cost of older employees, unless they have unique experience or if they are not senior managers, is lower than the cost of younger ones.
In addition to salary, career opportunities for the elderly are also limited.
This is clearly unfair and discriminatory. However, this is the reality.
However, some older employees continue to expect the same opportunities as younger employees, even if they accept existing conditions. As a result, they are demotivated and outraged by the current state of Affairs, which, of course, affects their work and relationships with colleagues
The inability to use modern technologies is a well-known problem. The older a person is, the less they want to delve into some subtleties, the more new.
Here there is only one way to admonish-examples of “age-old” colleagues who skillfully use modern technologies.
But the inability to work quickly is an unsolvable problem. Usually, the older a person is, the slower they act. If an employee is still needed, you need to think about creating an individual work schedule for them and make special requirements for them.
The future is for the elderly
The increase in the level and duration of life in the world leads to the fact that the border of old age is noticeably shifted. If now a thirty-year-old person can have the psychology and experience of a teenager, then middle and older age comes much later.
The new age classification adopted by the world health organization is as follows:
25-44 years old — a young age;
44-60 — the average age;
after a 90 — centenarians.
Based on this, we need to understand that the number of older employees will increase. For example, in Germany over the past five years, the number of people working after the age of 60 has already increased by 70%. In light of this trend, it makes sense to look for the “age” employees not so much disadvantages as advantages and learn to use them.
A new adult world.