Old people are special. They require special treatment. You should treat them differently than the rest of your employees. They need extra care so they don’t leave. If you don’t cater to them, then you are missing out. Let me list all the ways they are different from the “rest of us” and how you should handle them from this point on…
Huh. Weird to see that spelled out, right? The strange thing for me is to consider how it’s perfectly acceptable to look at young employees and talk all about how they need special care, but it’s somehow taboo to do the complete opposite of that. Let’s cut that out, shall we? It’s annoying and serves no purpose.
News flash- gen Y is still the discussion topic at #alshrm. Why are we still discussing this? It is about age, not generation.
— Ben Eubanks (@beneubanks) May 15, 2013
People talk about the many, many faults of “Gen Y,” but they seem to forget that it’s not a generation, it’s an age group. All 20 year olds are goofs, whether the year is 1953 or 2013. More on that here.
On to the real topic of today’s discussion, I was listening to a podcast the other day, and a reader had asked a question about managing new employees. The guy was looking to hire some more senior level employees, and he asked for ideas on how he should hire and manage his older staff when he was only 26 years old himself.
I’ve heard many comments on previous occasions from “experts” on how to manage that type of situation, but the comments from the speaker were the best I’ve heard yet.
Hire for coachability.
And that’s it.
It’s not about age or experience. It’s about, as I have said numerous times before, making sure the people have the right attitude. The most experienced software engineer in the world is useless to me if nobody can work with him without having a nervous breakdown.
Let’s make a pact
I’m not interested in talking about generations in the workplace. Trying to lump everyone into one group or another is silly in most cases and illegal in some. People are individual, and each of us has our own strengths, weaknesses, needs, desires, etc.
Let’s talk about culture fit. Let’s talk about coachability. Let’s talk about attitude. When we all learn how to properly screen and hire for those attributes, then we can move on to more useless demographic-focused discussions.