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Handling Age Difference in the Workplace for a Positive Experience
People are entering the workforce younger and getting out of it later in life, according to business experts. This fact means one thing: that the age gap in some offices is getting larger, and it could be getting more difficult to manage. Age differences in the workplace don?t have to be a cause for arguments and conflict, however. Having people of different ages working together can actually be a positive experience for everyone involved, both professionally and personally. How the age difference question plays out in your office all comes down to how you handle it.
Age differences have always been an issue in the workplace. A generational gap between the old guard and the up and comers has always been unavoidable, but people knew how to manage it in a world where people got one job when they were started out in the working world and stayed with that company throughout their careers. However, those days are gone for good. People tend to bounce from job to job, out of choice or out of necessity, and so that means many workers have to adjust to age differences in the office place while adjusting to new jobs, period.
Even this sense of bouncing around to different jobs can inflame the age difference issue. Older people may not relate to the younger generation?s ways of moving from job to job and drive to find a career that not only makes them money but that they also love. This culture class can cause misunderstandings and tension in the workplace.
What is happening more often with the changing work market is that many younger people are finding themselves in the position of managing older people. Because younger people tend to change jobs more, and because they grew up in the computer generation, they often have more qualifications than older workers. This can cause tension on both sides. Older workers can feel under appreciated and passed over for a job that should have been theirs because of seniority, and younger bosses may feel funny about telling older employees what to do, and correcting them when they make a mistake, because they are supposed to respect their elders. Is there any way to avoid these conflicts at work so that age doesn?t become an issue?
The first way to make sure age isn?t an issue is to simply decide that it isn?t one. If you have younger boss, keep in mind that they were hired for a reason, and be open to the things you can learn from them. If you are in charge of managing an older team, don?t go easy on them because of their age. They won?t respect you for it, and you will only be emphasizing the difference between you. Instead, treat them as you would any other employee, while making personal allowances for some resistance to chance on their part. A certain amount of ?in my day? kind of talk is inevitable. Accept it and take it on board ? you might even learn something ? but have confidence in enforcing the decisions you make at the same time.
The other best way to manage age differences in the office place is to always keep the lines of communication open. If you are a younger manager in charge of an older team, make an active effort to solicit their opinions and to be available to them when a problem arises for them. If you are an older person in the office wondering about how to relate to the younger workers, ask questions. A glimpse into their world may do wonders for your ability to understand and relate to them. Not only will you become more effective co-worker, you might even end up being friends.
Continuing Education Key to Being a Better Employee Employers now recognize the importance of continuing education for employees. Over the past few years, more and more employers have begun to offer tuition reimbursement and continuing education classes to their employees. While this was once thought of as an excessive expensive, it is now understood that continuing education benefits the company as much or more as it does the employee. The job market is becoming more and more competitive everyday. Only the best employees are getting jobs in certain sectors. That means that your skills need to be sharp in order for you to remain valuable to your company. This is where continuing education comes into play. No matter what type of job you have, just about all companies are investing in continuing education. The reasons why are simple. Even though the company may spend a good deal of money on continuing education for their employees, they see an even larger return. By having employees that are on the top of their game, the company will be more productive as a whole. Thus the company will make more money. With that in mind, it is very important that employees always take advantage of continuing education classes when they can. You will be able to stay on top of whatever new trends are coming up and possibly acquire skills that will allow you to move up in the company. By taking continuing education classes, you will become more productive. Studies have found that employees that continue to have their skills refreshed and renewed are more productive on the job. This is a perk for both employees and their employers. You will be able to finish more work in less time and with more understanding. Thus making your time at work easier. If you are not sold on the idea of continuing education, think of it this way. Your employer is paying for it. It is a perk of your job that you should take full advantage of. If you are working towards acquiring skills that will lead you to a promotion or an entirely new job, you are doing something to better yourself. And, it is costing you less, or nothing at all. The best companies to work for in the country have great training programs. This is no coincidence. These companies, which also make a ton of money spend thousands of dollars training their employees so that they can go out and make the company the most money possible. Less successful companies have begun to follow suit. No matter what type of job you have, there are continuing education programs that can help enhance your job experience. Continuing education is a great way to break out of a rut. If you are eager to change jobs or get a promotion, you will fair much better in the job market if you do some continuing education. Use whatever means your company offers to better yourself and become more marketable. The type of continuing education you choose depends on your career goals. It is always helpful to have an advanced degree in a certain field. If tuition reimbursement for graduate school is an option, take it. Having a Master?s or PHD will help you become an expert in your field of study. If your job has company continuing education, take them up on it., Even if a promotion is not exactly what you are looking for, being cross trained is always a good idea. Gain as much in the way of knowledge and skills as you can. When you move on to your next job those skills will look great on your resume.
Judging by Appearance ? It Happens in the Workplace This is one of the old sayings that really does come true, the clothes do make a person. What does it mean? For many people, it means that people judge by the clothes you wear. This is especially true in the workplace, but also for everyday life. Many companies nowadays have a dress policy in place to keep the appearances at work up. Reasons why companies have dress policies are of a great variety. Here is a review. One of the biggest reasons for companies to require nice appropriate clothing at least in their office area is visiting customers. If your employees need to be in contact with customers on daily or weekly bases or if customers do visit your offices in general, it is important that your employees make a good first impression. First impressions are very much guided by what you are wearing, your facial impressions and body posture. Therefore, if your customer see your employees working on their desks, it is important that the employees are dressed appropriately. For most workplaces this means a button down or polo shirt, dress pants or casual dress pants. In some instances, it is important for the employees to wear a tie and suit. For women, the codes are equivalent what the style of the clothing is referring to. Imagine what would happen if a customer comes into a company and the employee receiving the customer wears dirty, spotty, old and ripped clothes. In society that does not make a good impression, then the customer will most likely not want to do business with you. Another reason of why companies and employers would judge by your appearance is called professionalism. In the picture of professionalism at the workplace includes good appropriate clothing. It belongs to being a good employee as much as doing your job right and being polite and respectful to your boss and colleagues at your workplace. In society much is judged by the way you dress. If you have ever walked into one of the better department stores with a set of old, worn clothes, what kind of response do you get from the sales person? Often times they think you do not have enough money to buy here anyways and that is the way they treat you. They may not even give you the time of day, even if you have a lot of money. They judge you by what you have on and this is certainly the case in the workplace as well. If you want to project a good image, then take a good look at what you wear before you step out of your door in the morning. There are many places where a dress code is required or expected, such as the church, the opera, the theater, better restaurants and many other places. The workplace is just one of many and whether you like it or not, appropriate clothing is what can make or keep you get the job. Many Internet sites, books and people that offer advice on interviews and getting that job, will emphasize the importance of nice appropriate clothing and the impact it can have when you wear something that stands out from the crowd. Most people have been raised to think that proper dress attire is what you should wear at work, but for some it still is more a mystery to them than anything else.