Managing Older Employees as a Manager at a Young Age

Managing Older Employees

Back then, most companies use the seniority rule. If you become older, you are the priority in moving up the corporate ladder. These days, age is no longer an issue. As long as you are competent and you have proven that you can move a step higher than your current position, you will most likely be tapped by the executives.

This is a good opportunity to prove that you can do more than what you are tasked to do now. You can even be asked to manage the entire branch of the company. If you like this role anyway, this should not be a problem. Managing people to work for the best interest of the company is easy especially if everyone cooperates. It only becomes an issue if there are older employees in the company. They have been around for several years but they were not tapped for a higher position.

To begin with, they might resent seeing you as a leader since they felt like it was an opportunity that was lost. They will also have a hard time cooperating with you and following your instructions. However, being the manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that they still do their share in pushing the company upwards. Here are some ways for you to successfully manage those who are older than you if you are given a higher position than them.

Get to know them better

For most of them, they might feel bad seeing you as a leader because they have only seen you as someone who is young. They have not really seen your potentials. You also don’t know them on a personal level. This is your chance to get to know them and let them know that you deserve where you are now. Be respectful in dealing with them. Let them know if they are interested in doing other things for the company. They might feel bad for not getting a managerial position, but they might feel better doing other things.

Don’t boss around

dont boss around

Younger people pushed to a higher position in a company tend to very idealistic. They opt for a total change because they feel responsible if things fail when they already had the chance to change. Just because you are trying to change the business does not mean you can boss people around. Let the older employees know that you respect their concerns and you will continue listening to them. If they are uncomfortable of the changes, tell them that they are free to tell you what they feel. Let them understand the need for the change and how it could positively affect the business in the long run.

Communicate and appreciate

Communication is key to success in any business. Always be clear with your instructions. Let everyone see how your actions can lead towards the achievement of the goals. Older employees tend to be less cooperative. If they show interest, appreciate them. Let them know that their worth in the business.

It is a challenge for you at your age to manage people who have been around for a really long time. It is process and you can’t expect things to turn around overnight.

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