A Broad Age Range in Organizations Increases the Probability of Success
Recently, various forms of discrimination have been identified, entailing important dialogues in order to make society more empathetic and respectful – such as racism, sexism and LGBTQIA+phobia. These topics attained visibility and became an important part of company initiatives, however, one topic still requires debate: age diversity in the corporate environment. Similar to other forms of plurality, the age gap between workers creates different perspectives resulting in important insights – the coexistence of multiple age ranges is beneficial for both the company and the employees. The younger bring enthusiasm, speed and creativity, while the mature professionals can provide more practical expertise. Challenging choices and assertive decision making are a crucial component of successful and efficient management, therefore, more experienced staff members have a better understanding and are more qualified to teach the process. However, in order to improve results, it is important that the company encourages dialogue and inclusion – reinforcing the value of each generation. As a society, we need a realistic comprehension of ageing: a natural process of life that doesn´t necessarily preclude or hinder individual performance at the highest level.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) survey conducted in 57 countries earlier this year, over 60% of elderly people stated they were victims of ageism. The research also revealed that one in two people exercise discriminatory behavior, resulting in or accelerating the physical and mental health deterioration of older people, reducing their life quality and expectancy. WHO´s Global Report on Ageism disclosed that every year billions of dollars are squandered due to age prejudice, with a direct impact on the global economy. The money, which could be spent elsewhere, is diverted to treatments required for health rehabilitation for older (ageing) professions – who have had to endure social isolation, loneliness, financial instability and even premature death. As a consequence of this reality, companies need to build an atmosphere that embraces and values different generations. In addition to all of the social benefits, creating an environment where various age groups are able to interact also establishes a competitive advantage, as different points of view allow businesses to be more assertive when identifying and anticipating the necessities and desires of each sector of the population – a holistic view is enriching and must always be considered.
Using the right platforms and proper language based on a strategic communication plan, combined with implementing activities in order to raise awareness about the implications of ageism is the starting point to change that demeaning mindset. Truth be told, there is no room for any type of discriminatory action. Inclusion is essential to reach business success and benefit society as a hole.