Academic journal article Review of Management

Managing Wiser Workforce

Academic journal article Review of Management

Managing Wiser Workforce

Article excerpt

Introduction

We all are going to share the fact that we are getting older, but this age differs from one person to other. While two people may share the same birth date, one may function better physically or mentally. We describe these two people as having the same chronological age but different functional age. As the definition of age, it is also difficult to define "older worker.. The world Health organization uses the age of 45 as dividing line between young and old worker. Large number of the current workforce consists of Baby Boomers moving into their fifties and sixties. They will continue to constitute a large segment of the workforce for some time. With the imminent retirement of large numbers of Baby Boomers being forecast, many organizations are focusing their recruiting and retention efforts on Generation X and Generation Y.

The companies need to learn how to manage older workers better. It also means that they will be confronted with a wave of retirements as the baby-boomers leave work in droves. Most companies are remarkably ill-prepared. Companies are still stuck with an antiquated model for dealing with ageing, which assumes that people should get pay rises and promotions on the basis of age and then disappear when they reach retirement. They have dealt with the burdens of this model by periodically "downsizing" older workers or encouraging them to take early retirement. This has created a dual labour market for older workers, of cosseted insiders on the one hand and unemployed or retired outsiders on the other.

Companies have no choice but to face the difficult problem of managing older workers. Supply of Generation X and Generation Y employees simply isn.t going to be large enough to fill all the jobs. But the meaning and purpose of work for older workers differs from that for members of other generations. They require different motivation and retention strategies.

Workplace traits most attributed to generations

Veterans (World War II generation; born before 1945)

-Plan to stay with the organization over the long term

-Respectful of organizational hierarchy

-Like structure

-Accepting of authority figures in the workplace

-Give maximum effort

Baby Boomers (Born 1945-1964)

-Give maximum effort

-Accepting of authority figures in the workplace

-Results driven

-Plan to stay with the organization over the long term

-Retain what they learn

GenXers (Born 1965-1980)

-Technologically savvy

-Like informality

-Learn quickly

-Seek work/life balance

-Embrace diversity

Nexters (Born 1980-2000)

-Technologically savvy

-Like informality

-Embrace diversity

-Learn quickly

-Need supervision

Managing older workers sometimes awkward for Generation X, Y bosses

Older workers of any age above 45 can be victims of outdated attitudes, stereotyping, unfair policies and prejudices. They can negatively affect older workers by

1. prematurely forcing them out of the workforce

2. denying them promotions

3. excluding them from learning and training opportunities.

Sometime it becomes difficult for young managers to give orders to their subordinates of their parent's age. While the generation gap isn't usually a cause for concern, employers are beginning to pay more attention to problems that may arise between baby boomers, Generation X and Next-gen managers. What a baby boomer considers professional behavior may be different for a Generation X or Y person. Some older workers, for example, believe that it's essential to put in extra hours at the office.

Young people often notice tension during their transition into the management role and the older person wants their younger bosses to prove themselves as capable of being their boss. A lot of the new kids who come into construction don't have the attributes of the baby boomers: the desire to work hard and to take pride in doing quality work for older people, construction is a career; for the younger ones, it's often just a paycheck. …

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