Ageism isn’t a new topic, especially when it comes to age difference in the workplace. We put large groups of people into categories: millennials, generation Xers, baby boomers, the traditionalists. There are even online quizzes that claim to give insight into age groups.
So is it important to have a nice mix of the categories working at your business? Is there a ratio to strive for (e.g. 50% millennials, 35% generation Xers, 10% baby boomers, 5% traditionalists)? Is age important in the work place?
It has always seemed pretty stereotypical to group people solely based on their age. People don’t always identify with the category they have been thrown into.
Some bosses are concerned with a worker’s age and the issues that are sometimes associated with an age group. Take for instance, the list that forbes.com came up with for older workers: stuck in their ways, slower to learn new technologies, poor health. As the article goes on to state, these issues can be associated with almost anyone of any age group. The same kind of stereotyping happens to millennials where looks are often taken into consideration: tattoos and piercings, a more relaxed dress code, or maybe a weaker work ethic.
The age of your employees shouldn’t affect your business, and labeling your employees as baby boomers or millennials won’t help you learn how they work.
Instead of focusing on age, focus on the quality of work. Make sure your employees are staying relevant, no matter what their age. Focus on the different skill sets that each person brings to their job, and don’t be afraid to assign mentors to newer members of the job. That might mean a twenty-five year old is mentoring your forty-five year old new hire. Employees of all ages should have the opportunity to teach, learn, and better their skills.
A cohesive workplace happens when your employees are willing to work together and share ideas. It’s important that each employee feels comfortable with their skill set and wants to teach what they know, and learn more about what they don’t.
Here at Integrated Consulting Group, we specialize in the design, development, and customization of SAP Human Capital Management business software for leading edge North American companies with global reach. Have any questions about SAP? Feel free to contact us via the contact page of our site, or on Twitter or LinkedIn. We’d love to hear from you.