Age discrimination in the workplace is a problem for any organisation, both big and small. It can quickly become a part of the company’s culture even if there are clear anti-harassment and discrimination policies enforced in the company. Employees often ignore these policies for various reasons, and supervisors and other high-ranking officials can find it hard to determine signs of ageism since it can be too ingrained in the company’s daily operations.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat and stop ageism in the workplace and down below are five great ones you can apply in your workplace:

1. Be Vigilant And Aware Of The Stereotypes And Assumptions On Older Employees

If you have older workers in your workplace, don’t immediately think they are just counting the days to their retirement, or they will jump ship if there is something new. This thinking can damage everyone’s morale and put you at risk of legal challenges.

Make sure others are not thinking the same way and notice the interaction between your employees and managers to see if they adhere to age stereotypes.

2. Offer Training And Promotional Opportunities

An excellent way to combat ageism in the workplace is by giving everyone equal opportunities for training programs and promotions. Whether they are young or old, a chance to train and improve in their roles can provide them with the experience they need to flourish further and adapt well to the company.

Meanwhile, equal opportunities to get promoted showcase that you have considered what these employees have done and recognise their potential.

3. Have A Detailed Ageism Policy And Actively Enforce It

People don’t understand ageism because they are not familiar with its examples and report it to the higher-ups.

As the boss, you need to actively enforce the policies and let people know how they can report. It would help if you also made it a point to review recruitment policies, employment terms and training modules to correct any areas that may cause age bias.

4. Create Mentorship Programs

The belief brings some stereotypes towards older employees from younger employees that more senior employees are hard to get along with. There may even be the assumption that older people hate younger people because of their reliance on technology they do not understand.

To break these beliefs, you can introduce mentorship programs to open opportunities for both your younger and older employees to connect. You can either ask the younger worker to help the more senior employee with certain tasks using the internet or technologies to speed up operations or have older employees teach skills that computers can’t replicate.

During this time, you can close down any knowledge gaps and give your employees a better understanding of one another, reducing any biases they may have in the process.

5. Encourage Diversity

Having a diverse and inclusive workplace for all employees regardless of their age is not impossible to achieve.

Don’t be afraid to hire people from all age groups and beliefs, especially if they have what you are looking for. Having a diverse workplace can improve creativity, collaboration and team cohesion.

Conclusion

Ageism can be very dangerous if you allow it to fester in your company, especially now that people live longer and continue working despite their ages.

As the leader or boss of your organisation, you can take the first step to combat discrimination of all forms by being proactive in enforcing policies against it and helping everyone get along. When your employees see you, they will follow your lead, and it will effectively create a conducive work environment for all to enjoy.

To avoid a bad culture in your company, check out these motivational policies to implement to foster a good working relationships within coworkers:
7 HR Tech Trends that will drive the Future of HR
Extrinsic & Intrinsic Motivation In Your Workplace
How Can Companies Make Employees Feel Valued

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14 replies on “How Can We Tackle Ageism in Workplace

  1. “Ageism can be very dangerous if you allow it to fester in your company, especially now that people live longer and continue working despite their ages…” This is part of the problem, but basically, it takes years to become really good at whatever you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so true but a lot of companies especially in Asia, they prefer them younger. We are seeing a rising number of people above 50s unable to find employment. That’s sad.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, Kally, for the inspiring article to encourage a more open approach to valuing those who have put in the time.

    In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success, he wrote about the “10,000 Hour Rule.” According to the book, those serious about reaching the top must set aside an inordinate amount of time for practicing.

    I love this quote: “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” It takes time to practice—years, actually. Unfortunately, many younger workers don’t realize the time commitment until they are older, and that can lead to false impressions of what it takes to succeed.

    From my four-decades in the corporate sector, people don’t fully appreciate the practice time required; thus, some discriminate against older workers. Years later, they may realize their error, but by then, they too may face the problem of ageism.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Love your comment. True enough that one doesn’t learn their error of ways until it is too late. I believe that no matter what age or background, we all have things to learn and benefit from each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As an older employee (71), this seems like a no brainer for companies who have us old folks on the payroll. Interestingly, where I am, age = experience + respect. Of course, that’s if you are doing a good job. Thanks, Kally.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. From my experience working with older people, they have wisdom that can’t be replaced, and they generally have good mental health. However, the issue is when they are involved in highly fast-paced projects, it becomes an issue.

    I believe it is necessary to employ elders! They know more, and their strategies work 95% of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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