Ageism Awareness: Why Organizations Need to Take Action Now

Now might be a great time to dive into the wave of baby boomers crashing onto our shores, and the new young techies surfacing in organizations. Armed with a truck load of positive psychology wisdom and some HR street smarts, we’re digging deep into the topic of “Combatting Ageism”.

The boomers punching out might seem like just another headline, but the economic aftershocks are real. Boomers have always carried trends with them – and where there are trends there are dollars. Making a plan for the demographic your organization will start serving, is always an important consideration.

When older generations leave organizations, it means that often knowledge, various character strengths and experience leaves with them. This time, many, many boomers are heading for retirement; how do you hold on to that group and keep them wanting to give you ideas, promoting all you have to offer to their friends and family, and maybe even returning to work as consultants? Alumni groups are great ways of keeping boomers engaged and offering valuable suggestions. Have quarterly meetings, train them on new ideas and get their feedback. There are gems amongst those rocks of ages! Ernst & Young International is one organization that offers training to their alumni.

When you have boomers involved in your organization, whether they’re alumni or still working, you must shake up biases that can be lurking. It’s essential to put diversity and inclusion on the front burner. If you don’t, you’d better be ready to tango with some laws and policies, because ageism is getting noticed and litigated. It’s a dance of protecting our graying-haired trailblazers while keeping the elevator doors open for the young guns.  The spotlight will be turned onto those clever organizations out there that hustle and bustle to whip up a culture that’s all about harmony between generations – teams that blend the seasoned, wise warriors of the boomer era with the tech-savvy, avocado-toast-loving youngsters. Both generations are incredibly important to moving your organization forward and demonstrating your advanced thinking.

Ageism also takes a sledgehammer to mental well-being. Contempt cannot be allowed to raise its ugly head. Whether it’s young people talking about “old farts” or older people talking about “laziness and ignorance”, organizations have to impress on all workers that respect and understanding must be The Golden Rule.

Are you ready to lead the charge and be the superheroes of this storyline, blazing the trail to a future that’s all about unity, respect and understanding?

It’s about creating a world where everyone’s contributions are valued. Let’s kick “Ageism” to the curb today!

The Woz
  • Graham Judith
    Posted at 01:47h, 01 December Reply

    Great article Denise! And so right. When the boomers leave a lot of the institutional wisdom leaves with them.

    • The Woz
      Posted at 23:43h, 04 December Reply

      Thanks for your kind comment, Judy. I believe it’s important to keep alumni engaged and feeling valued. Keeping in touch can be done by appointing a specific team with knowledge of those past alumni, and how they can be of service to their previous or another organization. When you have alumni who you can recommend to others, it’s a win-win for all involved.

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