Advantages of an Age-Diverse Workplace

While many companies skew towards younger employees, research indicates there are many benefits to an age-diverse workforce.

While many companies skew towards younger employees, research indicates there are many benefits to an age-diverse workforce. Sadly, one Indeed report reports that 43% of tech workers are afraid of losing their job because of their age. 

While it’s true that the workplace continues to evolve, and those who don’t keep up will get left behind, many skills get better with age. Employees develop into managers, leaders, and mentors as they gain more experience.

Here’s why you should create an age-diverse workforce.

13 Reasons Why Age Diversity Matters at Work

  1. Age Diversity Means Different Perspectives

Nobody has all the answers. Diversity of all kinds, including age diversity, invites various perspectives that younger generations alone won’t have. 

For instance, Baby Boomers’ experience when it comes to sales is distinct from younger generations who are used to making online purchases. If you’re selling to older generations or are selling in-person, these diverse perspectives can help you make the sale.

Without these differing opinions and experiences, teams are more likely to trod the line and are less likely to see the problems with how they operate. When employees disagree, it forces new ideas to be made, and these ideas benefit everyone.

  1. Grows Your Talent Pool

Only 57% of recruiters deploy strategies to attract diverse candidates. This is a problem because diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly important for new hires. Companies that are viewed as exclusionary limit their talent pool. And, of course, companies that do not consider older candidates are limiting who they can hire.

Thus, promoting an age-diverse workforce means your talent pool grows.

  1. Feelings of Inclusion Reduce Turnover

According to Bamboo HR, 31% of new hires leave within 6-months, of which 68% left in the first 3-months. Considering employee turnover costs companies $12,000 per entry-level candidate, $20,000 per manager, and $50,000 per executive, it’s critical to limit it.

When employees feel excluded based on their age, they’re far more likely to find work elsewhere. Whether this occurs right after they’re hired or down the line when they get older, employees of all ages must be celebrated and respected.

  1. Fosters Stability

While this includes turnover, stability in this sense also refers to your team’s ability to handle adversity. Older employees who have more experience are likely to have gone through challenges before. 

In the face of adversity, older coworkers provide comfort and advice to younger ones, helping them navigate challenges. The AARP notes that younger workers most appreciate older workers for offering wisdom and helping them find their professional footing.

  1. Diversity Helps Your Reputation

While this shouldn’t be the sole reason you hire an age-diverse workforce, it’s helpful to understand the current trends. Deloitte found that 80% of a pool of 1,300 employees stated inclusion matters when they pick an employer. And those are just potential employees!

Additionally, according to Indeed, 17% of job seekers report that seeing diversity and inclusion during the hiring process is a top factor in helping them feel excited about the company.

As trends evolve, people are placing greater priority on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Thus, hiring an age-inclusive workforce improves your company’s reputation.

  1. Age Diversity Creates More Opportunities For Revenue

One study by McKinsey & Company found that companies with diverse top teams also happened to be diverse top financial performers. This is because diverse teams produce more profits by opening new markets without additional effort or money.

Companies that foster diversity are likely to see increased revenue and sales.

  1. Boosted Collaboration

A diverse group of individuals is far more likely to encourage collaboration. While it may be challenging for one older worker to speak up in a meeting of young people, putting a diverse group of people together empowers everyone to speak up.

With collaboration comes new ideas, the ability to solve problems more effectively, and greater productivity.

  1. Helps You Understand More Customers

When selling a product to a diverse audience, your workplace must reflect that demographic. Young people will have difficulty empathizing with and understanding the concerns of older people; if you have all ages on your team, you’ll better be able to meet your customer’s needs.

An age-diverse workforce means you may be able to predict problems before they arise. Since older workers understand what it’s like to be of a certain age, they can foresee potential challenges by virtue of their own experience with a product or offer.

  1. Increases Interest and Performance

According to Forbes, diverse teams deliver 60% better results and make better business choices as much as 87% of the time. A diverse group of employees hones in on multiple perspectives and performs better.

Further, conversing with the same demographic day in and day out can become mundane. When teammates of diverse ages come together, they can share various experiences, and employees are likely to be more engaged with their coworkers.

  1. Diversity Means More Learning Opportunities

Diversity brings together many perspectives, opinions, and experiences. By putting these all together, you create the perfect opportunity for employees to learn from one another. 

Older employees often do well mentoring younger ones, which can create faster career advancement, enhanced networking, and increased time management. Not only are younger employees learning, but older ones are also growing their advising and mentoring skills.

  1. Increased Employee Engagement

When employees feel included, they’re likely to be happier, more comfortable speaking up, and have higher morale. All of this produces workers who are more engaged and truly enjoy being part of a team.

Increased engagement means people are focusing more and voicing opinions. This fosters innovation and promotes productivity.

  1. Creativity and Innovation

With a variety of perspectives, teams tend to be more innovative and creative. This is because age diversity brings with it various experiences. Older workers think differently about problems or situations than younger ones.

  1. Improved Problem-Solving Abilities

According to Forbes, inclusive teams reach decisions with half as many meetings and twice as quickly. This saves a lot of time and effort for employees and companies, allowing the former to spend their time working on more tasks.

How Do You Create Age Diversity in the Workforce?

  1. All Employees Need to Feel Valued

While you may be tempted to tout younger or newer employees’ successes, it’s equally as important to do so for older employees. Their contributions should be celebrated equally as much.

If all employees are treated equally, feelings of ageism should dissipate.

  1. Unconscious Bias Training

To help combat ageism in your workforce, employees can undergo unconscious bias training. While critics argue that said training doesn’t have a tangible impact, this doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel.

For this training to have an effect, make it ongoing and long-term. Additionally, you’ll need to train your employees to find links between their beliefs and actions, so those actions can be corrected.

  1. “Blindly” Review Resumes

This is one practice you can implement after unconscious bias training. If any recruiters or hiring managers are biased against older workers (or even if they’re not), reviewing resumes with no respect to age, such as by asking candidates to remove years from their education section, can help combat ageism.

  1. Promote Growth Opportunities

One Indeed survey finds that 24% of job seekers went on the job hunt because they felt stagnant in their previous role. Further, 70% of “high-retention-risk” want to leave their current company because they think they can’t grow.

If you want to keep employees for many years, they need to feel like they can advance at their current company.

  1. Flexible Work Hours

Older employees have more responsibilities, including children. For these workers, flexible work hours are critical so they can pick their kids up from school, attend sports games, and so on. 

Rigid work hours favor young, unattached employees.

Final Word

An age-diverse workforce provides many benefits, from reduced turnover to more robust problem-solving capabilities. It’s imperative to promote diversity at work to turn your teams into the best versions of themselves.

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