Ageism in the Workplace: How to stop it before it starts

Ageism in the workplace has often been an underdiscussed subject. It is an issue that many have faced and few have overcome. The general perspective of ageism based in the workplace is relying on an out-of-date version of retirement. Although ageism can affect people of any age, it is often attributed to older people who are finding it difficult to change career. Many companies have implemented strategies to ensure that ageism does not affect any processes. From recruitment to promotions, age should not factor into any decisions.
Here are some things your company can do to tackle ageism:

1. Recognise the issue

It is important to acknowledge ageism in your work place and understand the issue at hand. Encourage an open conversation around ageism that will foster a culture of openness and communication. Working collaboratively within your organisation to identify where ageism might affect day to day operations will highlight where improvements can be made.

2. Honesty is the best policy

Transparency is key when establishing an ageism strategy. Examine your current team and identify where problems may lie. Discuss what the issues are around ageism and what concerns people may have. Being open and honest with your project strategy team about the glaring facts of diversity of age within the organisation will establish a solid foundation from which to build upon.

3. Is everyone on the same page? 

Culture comes from the top down, therefore senior members of the organisation must ensure that they are fully versed on ageism and how to tackle it. This understanding and appreciation for the seriousness of ageism will trickle down throughout your corporation and will become embedded into your culture company wide.

4. Educate your workforce

Invest in educating your employees on the positive impact and benefits that age diversity can have. Diversity is key when it comes to establishing an open collaborative working environment. Mentorships can be an important tool when it comes to engagement and cross team knowledge sharing.

5. Policy

It is crucial that your corporation has policies and guidelines in order to tackle all aspects of ageism head on. Ensure these are clearly established from the outset in order to ensure follow through across the organisation. The policy must outline the company’s commitment to supporting employees of all ages.

 Our Analysis

From our analysis of ageism on the market we have noticed that there is a growing in trend in companies developing strategies to tackle ageism within their corporations. Whether it be through open discussion, focus groups, training and development or strategies, companies are taking ageism seriously and treating it with the severity it deserves.
For every role we search for, we ensure that our final candidate pool is diverse. Our clients demand a range of candidates and we work to guide them on the benefits of a diverse culture.
If you would like to learn more about how you can tackle ageism within your organisation, contact us today!

Claire Prendiville

Associate Consultant - Senior Appointments