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It is universally acknowledged that memory and processing speed weaken over age. Mercer points out that it is not fair to focus on what the mature can’t do. Older employees can offer so much more than one would imagine.
One of the strengths of the mature workers is their loyalty, which stems from their gratitude. Given all the ups and downs they have gone through in their career, aging employees know who they are and what they want from a job. It is easier for them to find satisfaction at work, and they are less likely to leave a truly rewarding job than the younger employees.
Understanding their own skills and limits also allows older employees to know where they can fit best, while the younger generation are often distracted by social obligations such as starting a family. Having a stable workforce is increasingly important in modern workplace as it is intertwined with employee turnover, productivity and worker morale.
The biggest argument over the aging workforce is that younger workers are generally better at innovation and handling complex tasks. While this may be true, many young leaders often get too carried away and fail to hold on to their mission and values under the pressure of innovation. Many businesses have been wiped out for that reason.
Older employees can provide companies with a continuity of values. Research suggests that aging workers have better control of their emotions, and are able to act calmly and rationally when making difficult decisions.
It has also shown that they have higher “crystallized intelligence” – the ability to practice skills from knowledge and experience. They are more likely to internalize the company values when outside pressures are pushing the company to take directions that may eventually harm the business or reputation.
Preserving and passing on wisdom is crucial to a company’s development and evolution. The study shows that senior employees are better at language skills and guidance.
Having a diverse workforce can be powerful in modern workplace as different minds with different backgrounds and experiences can generate unique insights and solution to a problem, providing companies with value that is beyond imagination.
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