Want A Talented Fully Staffed Team During The Great Resignation? It’s Time To Let Go Of Age Bias At WorkJan 31, 2022
Can you imagine bashing someone of another race, religion or sexual orientation at work? I sure hope not. So why do some organizations sit by and allow their employees to bash persons based on their age?
Recently a team of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers told me about a “problem employee” in their workplace who they couldn’t fire because their organization is already so short-staffed. They went on to describe this employee’s behavior as unprofessional, overly emotional reactive, and self-centered. When they offered examples to support these claims, I couldn’t help but agree that they certainly had a problem on their hands. But I was floored when one member of this team said, “You know, he’s the typical Millennial.” And then her boss nodded in agreement.
The behavior the team described was certainly concerning. Frankly, it sounded to me like the employee likely had traits consistent with an untreated personality disorder. But typical of a Millennial?
Millennials are simply a generation. Sure, as a demographic they may seek work-life balance, and change jobs more frequently than other generations. But they are most certainly not known to be destructive in the workplace.
Look--we are all stressed out because of the pandemic and the never-ending, endlessly changing, Covid-19 policies. Workplace burnout is rampant right now. Finding qualified staff seems impossible. But bashing employees based on age is never okay. And if you do have someone in your employ that your team considers unprofessional, overly emotional reactive, and self-centered, it is often best to let that person go. Typically, being a bit short-staffed is better than being poorly-staffed.
If your organization is age-stereotyping—or worse, generation-bashing, what steps can you take today to be more inclusive? Embracing the talents of generations at work offers many benefits including increased productivity, profits, and morale during this continuously challenging time.
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