Every day, workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse in demographics, which fosters a professional environment that is diverse, among many other positive qualities. Age discrimination is one that companies should continually keep in mind because it is unethical and expensive. More than $91 million has been recovered for age discrimination at work. Companies should continually look to ensure they have an age-diverse workplace to help facilitate a dynamic and lively environment. An age-diverse workplace allows for experience and wisdom to stand out as well as a youthful energy and eagerness to learn.
5 Benefits of an age-diverse workplace:
- Creates a stable and dynamic workplace: Age-diverse workplaces create a balance in traditional and modern practices and thought processes. From technology-based ways of life, to a more traditionally experienced generation, communication and collaboration are essential to allow your company to have a more dynamic environment where ideas can flow.
- Limits the skill gap: More experienced workers can share knowledge and experiences with younger employees. There is also a return in favor where younger employees can teach newer practices to more experienced employees. By sharing knowledge and talking about certain decisions and procedures, the new guys or juniors could easily acquire new sets of skills.
- Fuels innovation: Innovation in the workplace can help to save you time, money and resources while giving you a competitive advantage. Age-diverse teams push each other to use methods and thought processes not necessarily common to one age group which helps with innovation internally (AARP).
- Increases productivity: The same study by AARP also mentions that within a mixed age team, there is a higher level of team productivity, not just a boost for individual employees. AARP relates this boost in productivity to the shared knowledge that is gained from past experiences, which results in fresh solutions to problems.
- Reduces Employee Turnover: Age diverse workplaces can reduce overall employee turnover rates due to the general loyalty of employees over 55 (Vantage.org).
Age-Diversity Education in the Workplace:
When diversifying the age of your workforce, help your management team get educated on managing a group of employees coming from different generations and backgrounds. The business environment and common business practices are always changing and improving, and when looking to diversify and change, a good amount of research is necessary to make sure that nothing is being overlooked or forgotten. Help educate not only your management team, but also your employees. Not everyone you have on staff or everyone you hire will be used to working with people that are not in their age group or have their similar demographics. Help educate everyone with learning to work with others especially when there is constant groupwork and collaboration.