Managing Older Workers

Managing Older Workers

Why don’t you want to manage older workers?

Managing older workers! We hear a lot about the efforts required to get young people into work. And, of course, that is important. But spare a thought for those managing older workersat the other end of the age spectrum. There remain those who dismiss the suggestion of hiring at older without even thinking about why!

There may be lots of reasons given, of course, as to why older workers are not a first choice. For example, employers often quote a lack of mental flexibility and an unwillingness to learn new things. But, those reasons may not be valid for large numbers of older workers. Check out the age profile of those choosing to follow online courses provided by organisations like FutureLearn in the UK. You will be surprised how many are over 60.

Sadly, though, many of those making hiring decisions continue to believe older workers don’t perform as well as those between 25 and 35. In fact 25 to 35 appears to be the new “golden zone” for recruits. Older workers are said to demand higher pay, cost more in terms of resources, resist change and aren’t prepared to fit in with a team. As a result , carefully disguised, age discrimination is widespread.

Managing older workers: does it require a different approach?

Managing older workers does not require a hugely different approach from managing young people. But some younger managers still find the prospect daunting. So they do their best to avoid it. And, the biggest concern employers’ express about hiring older workers is that there will be conflicts when they are managed by younger supervisors. In the US, it is said that an incredible 88 percent of employers worry about hiring older workers because they fear such conflicts.

Managing someone older than you, seems to touch a very raw nerve. And there can be a high level of distrust on either side. So how can managers get the best out of their older workers?

Getting the best out of older workers!

In most circumstances, older workers are just like other workers. They are unlikely to respond well in a command and control culture. Except in an emergency,  most workers don’t respond well to being “given orders”. But, they will respond well to an intelligent and enlightened leadership style. This means communicating clearly about issues and challenges.

Older workers, like others, welcome being involved in decision making and having tasks delegated to them. Give an older worker responsibility and most will give you their all. Older worker will a wealth of experience. Why not give them the chance to share it?

Like others, they will expect you to give them recognition for what they have achieved. But why not reward the wisdom they share with you. If you give your older workers the opportunity, their work and the intellectual capital they bring, will shine for your organisation, just like the grey hair on their heads.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

The Future of Work

The Future of Work

You and the Future of Work

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – Wendy’s books on Amazon

The Future of Work – here we have a series of videos from Kushner & Company describing five global trends likely to affect future strategic human resources, your career development and the way you look for work.

1 Set the Stage: The Changing Nature of Work

2 The Changing Nature of Work – Trend One Technology

3 The Changing Nature of Work – Trend Two Outsourcing

4 The Changing Nature of Work – Trend Three Diversity

5 The Changing Nature of Work – Trend Four Worker Attitudes

6 The Changing Nature of Work – Trend Five Globalization

7 The Changing Nature of Work – Implications

Resources for job seekers

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

Stress-free Job Search
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and career resilience. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

What graduates can bring to your company!

What graduates can bring to your company

Today we have a guest post from JonJon Yeung  with a very interesting perspective and we’d love to have your views

Most entrepreneurs and SME owners don’t go into business thinking that they’ll remain on the bottom rung of the business ladder for long. The plan is to expand the customer base, build up loyal clients and increase the profit for potential. In other words, the majority of business owners know that, at some point down the line, they’re going to expand.

And expansion means taking on new employees. When it comes to the hiring side of things, employers are faced with that age-old question: do they hire someone with experience or do they hire someone fresh out of university?

Experience Counts

Let’s take a look at experience first. Hiring someone who’s been in the game a while does come with its advantages. They know standard practices, they tend not to make schoolboy errors and they’ll also be aware of tried and tested methods. However, on the flip side, they’ll be less adaptable – especially when it comes to things like technology. Business tools are emerging and developing all the time and, if you really want to be a contender, you or your staff are going to need to know their way around them.

New Minds; Fresh ideas

So what about graduates? Well, there’s certainly the potential for teething problems but, remember, graduates are fresh from a learning environment and are still programmed to keep on learning. In other words, you can put your stamp on them and encourage them to approach their jobs in the way that best suits you – with little fear of resistance. Plus, they may have knowledge that you don’t. But they’re not going to throw it in your face; after all, you’re giving them their first job.

However, you might find that they’re prepared to make intelligent and well-informed suggestions, using new information that seasoned professionals simply aren’t aware of.

Technical Problems

There’s also the question of technology. With companies such as Intuit continually updating and improving their business tools, you need someone who can cope with the ever-changing face of technology. What you’re using now may well be old-hat to a graduate. As an example, why do you need a team of accountants to run your finances when you could be using QuickBooks, from Intuit? Voted as one of the top 10 places to work, hire a tech-savvy graduate and they can transform the way your finances run, doing away with manual tasks and turning the majority of that time-consuming stuff into automated processes. Graduates know this field and it’s a field that starting to become very prominent in the business arena. With more and more business being done via mobile phones, apps and tablets, you need someone who can throw themselves into the tech-based side of things without batting an eyelid.

Finally, there’s the question of age. If you hang on to your old team, then there’s going to come a point where retirement beckons and if all your employees are of a certain age, there are going to be some fairly hefty gaps in your infrastructure.

However, give a graduate a good working environment with plenty of opportunity for advancement within the organisation and you could have a long-term employee who brings a great deal to the table. Graduates may need a little nurse-maiding to begin with, but the way we do business is evolving and they can help you stay ahead of the latest changes.

This is a guest post from JonJon Yeung  

Why don't you want to manage older workers?

Why don’t you want to manage older workers?

We hear much about the efforts required to get young people into work. And, of course, that is important. But spare a thought for those of us at the other end of the age spectrum.

There may be lots of reasons why older workers are finding it difficult to stay in, and find new opportunities for, work. Lots of those reasons may not be valid for the majority of older workers but they have built up into a prejudice.

Unfortunately, it is true that many who are making hiring decisions believe older workers don’t perform as well as those between 25 and 35 – that seems to be the new “golden zone” for recruits. Older workers are said to demand high pay, cost more in terms of resources, resist change and don’t respond flexibly to fit in with a team. As a result , sometimes carefully disguised, discrimination against older workers is widespread.

Managing an older worker does not require a hugely different approach, to managing a very young person. But some younger managers find the whole prospect daunting – so they do their best to avoid it. The biggest concern employers’ express about hiring older workers is that there will be conflicts when they are managed by younger supervisors. In the US, it is said that an incredible 88 percent of employers worry about hiring older workers because they fear such conflicts.

Managing someone older than you, does seem to touch a very raw nerve in managers and there seems to be a high level of distrust on either side. So how can managers get the best out of their older workers?

In most circumstances, older workers are like other workers – they are unlikely to respond well in a command and control culture. Except in an emergency, older workers are not likely to respond well to being “given orders”. But, they are likely to respond well to an intelligent and enlightened leadership style. This means communicating clearly about issues and challenges.

They welcome being involved in decision making and having tasks delegated to them. Give an older worker responsibility and most are likely to give you their all and share with you their wealth of experience. So, then they expect you to give them recognition for what they have done, including for the wisdom they share with you. If you give your older workers the opportunity, their work will shine just like the grey hair on their heads.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

Would you like to reach your career goals and aspirations, while having a fulfilling home and personal life? Find out more at this link

Dealing with a failing employee

Dealing with a failing employee

So you have a failing employee! You have someone in your team that you think is letting you down. You can see that things are not working out as you expected. They’ve been around a while and things used to be fine. Now it is clear to you and other people that all is not well. What do you do?

First establish the facts. What is the evidence that performance really has changed and can you be certain that this team member is at fault?

Talk to the employee. Explain your concerns and any performance information you have gathered. Ask for their perspective.

Be fair, be open and be prepared to listen.

  • Do they accept that performance has fallen?
  • Are there factors inside or outside the organization that are affecting their performance?
  • Is there a health or family problem?
  • Do they understand the standard you expect?
  • Are they prepared to make a change?
  • Are there changes that you or others should and could reasonably make that will mean performance improves?

If the failure is down to the employee and there are no extenuating circumstances, within the bounds of employment law, you have choices to make. Much will depend on the reaction to your intervention.

If the employee accepts the failure and makes a commitment to improving their performance , apart from monitoring, there may be nothing further you need to do at this stage.

If performance does not improve, you will need to intervene again. You may need to coach the employee for a while and arrange some further training.

If that fails, you may need to impose closer supervision and move into disciplinary procedure and possible dismissal.

What matters most is that you intervene early – don’t let a bad situation just get worse.

  • Act early
  • Act always in good faith
  • Be willing to be open minded.
  • Collect evidence and be objective
  • Be clear about the standard you expect
  • Check that the employee understands your expectations
  • Reward progress with praise.
  • Keep records through-out
  • If you do have to dismiss, make sure it  comes as no surprise

But it is in your and their interests to give them a fair opportunity to make an improvement. Bringing an employee back on track is good for them, it is good for you and it is certainly good for the organization in terms of morale and use of resources, provided your intervention is in proportion.

Dealing with failing employees is never easy and the more prepared you are the better.  If you are a manager struggling with failing employees, a management training course or advice from a coach or mentor can help you learn the skills you need to really excel in the workplace and deal with all kinds of challenging situations.

If you need to the support of a coach in dealing with a failing employee, please get in touch

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com

Managing people – dealing with a failing employee

Managing People – Dealing with a failing employee

So you have someone in your team that you think is letting you down. You can see that things are not working out as you expected. They’ve been around a while and things used to be fine. Now it is clear to you and other people that all is not well. What do you do?

First establish the facts. What is the evidence that performance really has changed and can you be certain that this team member is at fault?

Talk to the employee. Explain your concerns and any performance information you have gathered. Ask for their perspective.

Be fair, be open and be prepared to listen.

  • Do they accept that performance has fallen?
  • Are there factors inside or outside the organization that are affecting their performance?
  • Is there a health or family problem?
  • Do they understand the standard you expect?
  • Are they prepared to make a change?
  • Are there changes that you or others should and could reasonably make that will mean performance improves?

If the failure is down to the employee and there are no extenuating circumstances, within the bounds of employment law, you have choices to make. Much will depend on the reaction to your intervention.

If the employee accepts the failure and makes a commitment to improving their performance , apart from monitoring, there may be nothing further you need to do at this stage.

If performance does not improve, you will need to intervene again. You may need to coach the employee for a while and arrange some further training.

If that fails, you may need to impose closer supervision and move into disciplinary procedure and possible dismissal.

What matters most is that you intervene early – don’t let a bad situation just get worse.

  • Act early
  • Act always in good faith
  • Be willing to be open minded.
  • Collect evidence and be objective
  • Be clear about the standard you expect
  • Check that the employee understands your expectations
  • Reward progress with praise.
  • Keep records through-out
  • If you do have to dismiss, make sure it  comes as no surprise

But it is in your and their interests to give them a fair opportunity to make an improvement. Bringing an employee back on track is good for them, it is good for you and it is certainly good for the organization in terms of morale and use of resources, provided your intervention is in proportion.

Dealing with failing employees is never easy and the more prepared you are the better.  If you are a manager struggling with failing employees, a management training course or advice from a coach or mentor can help you learn the skills you need to really excel in the workplace and deal with all kinds of challenging situations.

If you need to the support of a coach in dealing with a failing employee, please get in touch

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com

Other useful articles

  • Team Work; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning with Dr Tuckman
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming,Performing and Adjourning. Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 2 – Managing the Storming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning Part 3 – Managing the Norming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 4 – Managing the Performing Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 5 – Managing the Adjourning Stage

 

>The Hidden Job Market

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Today we have the second of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”.  As I explained before, Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. I hope you enjoyed his last post on Transferable Skills .  His third post should be here next week.


We at Prepare4Private have received some warming news.  A victim of the cuts in the NHS is looking for a new job. He is searching the Job sites, looking in the papers, as you would also expect. However he is also attacking the Hidden Job market with success.


The Hidden job markets is the catch all phrase for those jobs that never get advertised. I’ve seen estimates that from 30% to 80% of all jobs never get seen. My experience is that 80% is too high, but that still suggests a sizeable number are out there.

So how is our NHS friend getting on? Well he is approaching firms that he thinks have jobs needing his type of background and experience. He is approaching them by letter, even though he knows they aren’t advertising. The result? He is getting more interviews than through the “visible” market. He’s amazed but I, and now you, know he shouldn’t be.

So, look around your area, or where you want to work, make a list of the companies that are based there and write to them with a CV. Oh, one last thing. He also says he gets more success writing to the Line managers, rather than the HR group.

>Transferable Skills

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Today we have the first of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”. Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a Mechanical Engineer who has worked for blue chip organisations across a range of sectors including Heinz and 3M. For the last 12 years Ian has offered consultancy services to a wide range of organisations.

When you look to move to the Private Sector you may find it hard to find a direct equivalent to the job you are leaving.  Job adverts may leave you feeling despondent, but don’t worry. 
What you have to do is consider in particular your transferable skills. These will be the skills that you have acquired over the years of your employment, and outside of employment that are relevant to a new employer. Sit down with a cup of coffee and you CV, and go through the document jotting down the skills that you used in each position, e.g.:
  • Leading a team of people
  • Setting up and delivering a project
  • Negotiating change
  • Setting up a new spreadsheet to analyse an area. 
Now also think about your hobbies, sports, or even how you run your house. I remember talking to someone who was working in fairly basic job, but who chaired the local cricket club. He was responsible for a project to demolish and re-build the clubhouse. He was controlling the contractors, managing the money etc.
This is no time to hide your capabilities, so summarise your skills, and make sure they come through on your CV.
Now go and look at those job adverts, or job descriptions through the lens of your skills, not the shades of your old jobs.

Ian Machan “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs: www.Prepare4Private.co.uk

>6 Networking Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

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High Speed Business Networking Event (Paris, 2...Image via Wikipedia

I am going to be writing quite a lot about networking next week.  But in the mean time just to warm you up, here is an article  from the Harvard Business Review website. It is by Gill Corkindale who is a London Based Execuitve Coach. The link at the bottom will take you to the rest of the article. Incidentally, there is also a useful link in the first paragraph too!
“If you’ve been laid off in recent months, you’re in excellent company. Plenty of qualified and experienced managers are now having to develop strategies to find their next job.

But where to start? If you were my coaching client, I would simply say: network, network, network.

And yet among my clients, networking is often an underdeveloped skill. Take Jerry, a 40-year-old business development manager in a financial services firm. His role is to build the business in Europe, so he has to make industry contacts, speak at conferences and look for new client relationships. He is now at a point in his career where he has to build internal networks, but instead of recognising that he is already a master networker, the very mention of the word makes him shudder. Why? Because in his mind, networking is associated with self-promotion, politics and inappropriate favours.
In truth, networking is a critical skill for managers and leaders: your network supports and sustains you in the good times, but is the key to your survival in the bad times.
And yet networking is difficult, even daunting, for managers who have no problem simply chatting to people. It doesn’t need to be so stressful. Here are some common mistakes people make when networking — and how to avoid them:……”.
More at this link

Deborah Meaden's top tips for finding a new job

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Deborah Meaden: Hotpress from the BBC Newsnight Website
Deborah Meaden




As savings are made in the public sector, thousands of employees will be looking for new jobs this year. The government hopes the private sector can pick up the slack, but are former public sector workers equipped for change?
Dragons’ Den investor and successful entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, one of four business mentors helping public sector workers facing redundancy in Newsnight’s Job Market Mentors, gives her top tips on making the transition.
DON’T DELAY
Often when faced with something pretty traumatic like losing your job, people have a tendency to bury their heads in the sand…………
You can read more at this link