Employment: Treating 50+ years old employees


EMPLOYMENT Give someone of 50 years young a new challenge or promotion and you will be surprised with the results that person will bring. Employers should try to keep their older experts or experienced people, particularly those that embrace the digital world. If the company has too many of them, then send some of such employees to smaller companies for support there, via a Temp Agency for example. If the job content changes in your economic sector, retrain also your 50+ staff with potential, for the next 25 years of their careers.

Quite a few companies would be willing to do all of that, were it not that salaries of the 50+ employees quite often are very high because of compound yearly wage increases. As such it is always tempting to attract young employees instead. Because many companies are doing that, the starting wages of the good youngsters are getting high too. To the extent that one can wonder what their salary expectations or levels will be when they eventually turn 50.

The solution to the 50+ population of employees or workers is surely not to make them ‘obsolete’ for the next 30 years of their average remaining life. That would lead to early depression and premature death. As a retiree, one cannot always travel, eat, drink or play. Even that becomes boring. There really is a need for a regular occupation alongside the daily routines. That has many physical and psychological advantages. Plus, it stimulates curiosity and social contact, which certainly are important spices of life and should lead to longevity.

An obvious way to keep your older good employees longer is to reduce their work schedule with increasing age. Allow them to work four days per week as from 65 years old, half time as from 70, one day per week thereafter? To give them the responsibility to coach the younger employees is also a logical option for a valid occupation for the elder colleagues. In general, it is important to keep on stimulating the senior people to make sure they keep an appetite for working and getting the job done, whilst enjoying the journey and the pleasure of being with colleagues of all ages.

If we put the diversity of our workforce high on the agenda, then certainly age diversity should not be forgotten. Anyway, in the old days the chief of the village was the village elder. Although that is no guarantee for success, it certainly has the advantage of putting a person with a long experience at the helm of a team, company or village. Such a person is invaluable to prevent historical bad experiences from happening again. And that has value, because if there is one lesson that man has learned from history, it is that man does not learn from history. Still, the Americans claim that one should never trust anyone over 30 years old. Conclusion: we need age diversity!