3 Ways of Supporting Older Colleagues in the Workplace

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

With so many organizations comprising younger individuals, we have to give thought to older colleagues. 66 is the current retirement age for many people and therefore it’s time for businesses to acknowledge that older workers are around but will also need more support. As we are all working longer in life, we may find that we are working into our 70s or 80s with a clean bill of health. And it’s something we’ve got to consider right now, but how can we do this?

Focusing on Well-Being in the Workplace

Mental health is something that everybody needs to be aware of. But older generations such as the baby boomers may not be so forward in terms of discussing their mental health issues. It’s important to promote well-being in the work environment to reduce employees’ stress. This can be encouraged through regular breaks but also offering access to holistic facilities. It’s also important for the person in charge to have an open-door policy. This needs to be part of the culture of the organization. Because older members of our organization may find themselves in different situations or may have different needs, especially arising from previous and more stressful careers. They may have come into this organization because they needed a less stressful career. Whether they were paramedics or miners in their younger lives, there can be times when issues such as PTSD may very well come to the fore. What you can do as an employee is to give them access to resources to help them work through these issues. Whether this is experienced mining accident injury lawyers or counselors, the importance of making them feel their well-being is a priority will help you and them.

Highlighting Their Expertise

We have to remember that an older worker is more valuable in many ways. Compare an experienced worker who has been around the block many more times than the younger employees will have the most important experience of all, life experience. You can show older colleagues that you value them by asking them to host a masterclass on their particular expertise. This could be in terms of life experience and soft skills, which is something that younger employees have been proven to be lacking in. In addition to this, it benefits the workforce but it also motivates older colleagues by showing them how they are adding value to the workplace. This also helps incorporate respect and shared learning.

Offering Flexible Work

One of the benefits of the modern company is being able to evolve with the times. By offering flexible working hours to older colleagues, it can help them in so many ways. It’s not just a way to help them sleep in on certain days, but it enables your business to keep great staff. In addition, it could and years on to an individual’s career because it allows them to work at their own pace. 

Supporting older workers is something we all have to consider even if we do not have them right now. With the changing times and people going through many careers, we may very well find older colleagues as part of our workforce.

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