It’s Halloween, which means trick or treat… But how about if I offered you both? A chance to trick your mind and be rewarded with the treat of wisdom!
When training in the workplace I’m often asked by decision makers whether Baby Boomers and Gen X employees can learn new things… My answer… Hell yes! We’ve been doing that for years!
Do you remember buying your first computer or cell phone? (Yes, cell phone not mobile)! To me, it seems like such a short time ago, and yet my business hasn’t just adapted and adjusted, it’s thrived! If somebody had told me ten years ago, that the bulk of my business operations would be run via apps on my smart phone, I would have laughed at them!
As small business continues to be the backbone of so many economies, owner/operators realise very quickly they have to learn some new tricks, like accounting, marketing and training. Although my Halloween treat for you, is to remind you that you don’t have to do it all, focus on your strengths and what you enjoy, and get help where you need it! You may find this article from the archives interesting.
When it comes to human emotions and interactions some old habits are worth keeping… Courteous behaviour, meeting associates or prospective clients in person without distractions; but now we call it something new, emotional intelligence. Mindfulness is also new to the workplace, we’re encouraged to be mindful and think ahead to the consequences of the actions we take. But these new buzz words aren’t describing a new behaviour, just the demeanour of the people it’s always been good to be around and collaborate with.
How to manage a mixed-age workforce.
All too often, I hear clients say, “Young people just need to harden up”… “The younger generation is selfish, nobody volunteers any more.” It amuses me, as I think our parent’s generation probably thought the same of us. We are often old enough to be parents to a work colleague.
It’s worth remembering that ageism works both ways. Some of my clients feel they have been put out to pasture. They may enjoy doing their job but don’t necessarily want to move up or onwards, this doesn’t mean that they’re not good at the job they’re doing.
So my tip or treat for employers and employees in a mixed-age workforce is to trick your mind into staying open. When a new suggestion or idea comes along instead of reacting with a “No, that won’t work.” Consider a “Well that’s an interesting thought, tell me more…”
Trick your mind into thinking of solutions rather than barriers. Every generation in the workforce has valuable ideas and experience, that can reward with the treat of wisdom!