Some years ago, the American authoress, Susan Scott penned a best seller entitled “Fierce Conversations” regarding our inability to conduct conversations which we are reluctant to hold.
One of such conversations is our attitude in Australia to employing men and women over the age of 50 -55 years of age, which reflects very poorly on our country.
In an economy that continues on a path of growth, the folly of such an unhealthy national culture unfathomable, it would seem to be sensible to utilise every resource at our disposal.
We have created a powerful myth that everyone who reaches that milestone ceases to function in a productive, efficient manner and their use in the workplace is extremely limited.
It cannot be denied some sections of the population may fit into this category but to stereotype a whole generation is absurd and in fact offensive.
Not everyone in this age group has lost the ability to keep up with technology or understand new practices.
It has to be said both employers and the majority of recruiters must shoulder equal blame for this situation, we can expect the plaintiff cries of protest that they operate non-discriminatory policies when deciding about the employment of older workers. This is despite incentives by government to alter attitudes.
One only has to listen to a cross section of people on the ground to know this to be untrue and practices of prejudice are in operation.
Strangely enough that statement can be backed up by many employers who frequently claim the younger generation do not possess the experience required by their various businesses such as people skills which older workers have in abundance.
Quite frankly they can’t have their cake and eat it! They may come a time in our immediate future when this short sighted strategy will come to have a significant effect on business.
Common wisdom has always expressed the view that teams that possess a blend of youth and experience always perform better.
Australia regularly demonstrates incredible vision but it also from time to time shows its weakness, on this issue there can be no doubt we expose flaws in our thinking.