How To Manage An Elderly Workforce
It is very likely that at some point in your career you will face the hurdle of leading and managing staff who are older than you.
This sets of a series of worries and concerns for the younger manager that are not easy to resolve without some clear and concentrated thought processes.
The following tips should help you through this situation:
- Be Confident.
This does not means being arrogant or trying to just steamroller those older than you but it does mean that you refuse to be dominated or pushed by those who are older and presumably wiser. Failure to do this puts you at a serious disadvantage in running your team. Establish boundaries and stick to them and stick to the decisions that you are making.
Wavering is a definite sign of weakness and should be avoided at all costs.
- Use the Team’s Skills
Get the Team onside as soon as possible using their skills and knowledge to achieve your goals. Get involved in the work and show them that you are keen and that you are not afraid of getting involved in the day-to-day work. As your staff have ability (and presumably talents that you will need to harness) give them some room to work and to express themselves which will also mean that they can come up with ideas and initiatives that you will not have considered.
- Promote Learning
No-one is too old to learn and improve their skills. A major source of demotivation in any working group is that the management never invest time and money in training and development – this is especially so amongst the older workforce, who often see younger colleagues receiving the lion’s share of resources. Never assume your staff are happy doing the same job all of the time.
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