The term "age-diverse workplace" is referring to the acceptance of different ages in the workplace. Research has shown that the employment rate of older workers between the ages 55 and 64 is increasing at a rapid pace due to labor shortages that the economy faces. In light of these findings comes the question of age management and how the age of workers impacts results. There has been a lot of research on aging and the way it impacts the subject in a multidimensional way, but there hasn't been enough research on how organizations should utilize the knowledge of differently aged workers and how they can capitalize on age diversity.
Until recently, the mature workforce has been discriminated against by being excluded from job opportunities and decision-making processes because of their actual or perceived age.
Has age diversity had an overall positive or negative effect on the workplace?
According to a meta-analysis, there is no clear consensus on the issue. From the decision-making perspective, age-diverse groups benefit from a wider range of non-redundant knowledge and experiences. Teams with age diversity tend to have more resources and come up with more innovative solutions in the workplace.
Social Categorization Perspective
From the social categorization perspective, findings are a lot more different. The idea behind social categorization theory is that individuals categorize themselves and others into groups with similar characteristics, in this case, age is one of them. As a result, people are more positively inclined to groups that are similar to them than more diverse groups. In this sense, homogeneity results in higher group performance.
This perspective seeks the middle ground between the positive and negative effects of the age-diverse workplace. It accepts that both of the above perspectives are true, which means that age diversity has the potential to have both positive and negative effects and the effect depends on several moderating and mediating variables such as task motivation, task ability, social category salience, etc.
Research shows that companies, now more than ever, need to adopt more age-diverse policies to include the more mature population in the workforce. If you are interested more in how age diversity impacts the workplace you can gain a clearer idea by visiting TrustMyPaper and, you can gain inspiration on actions your company could take to be more inclusive in this aspect, by having a professional conduct specific research for your company.
How will the inclusion of mature workers benefit the workplace?
As mentioned briefly above, the inclusion of mature workers in the workplace can offer the company a wide range of experience, knowledge, and resources that can be used to navigate an array of tasks and situations in an effective and time-efficient manner. Workers with diverse experiences can significantly improve many aspects of a company, from the inner processes to customer support to product development. People with experience have a tried and true business techniques that will increase the value of your company’s services.
Traditionally, productivity can be boosted in two ways; by increasing the physical and human capital of the company or by improving the efficiency of the existing means of production with better management and new production processes. The inclusion of a wide range of services within a company increases its productivity by working smarter, not harder. Higher productivity is a win-win situation for both the company and the workers - it improves profitability for the company and is connected to higher wages for the employees.
Age diversity has proven to improve employee turnover rates. The term ‘employee turnover rate’ is referring to the percentage of employees that leave a company during a certain period of time. Loyal and long-term employees significantly contribute to increased company productivity and efficiency. You can learn more about employee turnover rates and your company by ordering a study from SupremeDissertations. You can gain inspiration on how to resolve this issue and a new perspective tailored to your company.
Another perk of age-diverse groups is the fact that older employees often act as mentors, willing to share knowledge and experience with younger members of the group. This organically increases the overall skill set of the company’s workforce, resulting in overall higher productivity and individual performance.
All of the above factors that are mentioned; higher productivity and experience, loyalty, and mentorship, contribute to the company’s innovation. Innovation not only regarding the outcome (product development f.e.) but also in innovation in efficiency and internal processes. Diversity has the unique ability to display different perspectives and when those different perspectives are applied in the workplace the result is a more efficient and humane work environment with empathy, understanding, and responsibility as core values.
Empathy is essential for a healthy workplace. Age-diverse groups, with different experiences, exercise communication and understanding more than non-diverse groups. Consequently, empathy translates not only in eternal communication but also towards the relationship between company and customer. Empathy translates to a better understanding of the target audience of the company and essentially increased sales.
To conclude, age diversity is often overlooked while people are focusing on ethnicity and gender discrimination in the workplace more. The discussion on age diversity is increasing, and many studies in the future will provide more information on how companies could and should capitalize on workforce diversity. Diversity in the workplace can increase frictions between co-workers and may foster miscommunications and inefficiency, but an age-diverse workforce can have much more benefits for the company provided that there are policies in place that increase efficiency, understanding and are open to different perspectives. Overall, finding experienced candidates will potentially elevate your company’s performance, increase sales, transform inefficient company policies that are in place due to limited perspectives, and improve your company’s image among others in the industry by displaying an inclusive and humane work environment.
About Author: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!