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older workers

6 surprising benefits older people can bring to your team

They have years of experience, better communication and won’t job hop.

shutterstock_317364824 Shutterstock / Poznyakov Shutterstock / Poznyakov / Poznyakov

MORGAN FREEMAN DIDN’T WIN an Oscar until he was 68. Vera Wang was 40 when she began her design career. Henry Ford only created the iconic Model T car when he was 45.

The famous adage of ‘older and wiser’ isn’t just relevant to inventors and the Hollywood elite. As the retirement age rises, more and more older people are available in the workforce.

These seasoned workers can deliver significant benefits to employers who understand and appreciate the value of older talent.

Here are just a few examples.

1. Their communication skills are excellent

It takes years of practice to become an effective communicator. Older workers have had a chance to hone their skills over time.

They are usually comfortable striking up conversations and they have a degree of confidence in their own social abilities. They also understand workplace politics and they are able to diplomatically convey their ideas.

2. They have a wealth of experience

There is no teacher quite like experience. Older people have gleaned masses of know-how from years on the job. They have seen recessions, profit dips, management trends, and multiple different bosses.

No matter what the week throws at them they have probably been through it before. This knowledge alone can be paramount to a company’s survival. It can save precious time and money.

3. They provide an example

Older employees are often natural mentors and role models. This makes training junior employees less difficult. Younger employees often thrive on the positive example that they set.

This collaborative sharing of skills can be very beneficial for workers and is of great value to employers in any sector.

4. They are excellent at customer service

More and more employers are hiring senior staff for customer service roles. Why? The answer is simple. Older staff are more emotionally mature and can better relate to customers.

Research also indicates that verbal communication, conflict resolution, and anger management all improve with age making them great front-facing employees.

5. They are loyal

Unlike millennials, older employees are less likely to job-hop. They are much more loyal to their employers and often are happy to stay in a role for more than a few years at a time.

This is massively beneficial. Some studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee it costs between six to nine months of that person’s wages to find a replacement.

6. They can appeal to different markets

Diversity is good for business. While your team of ambitious millennials might know all about Facebook Ads and Instagram stories how much do they know about communicating with prospective customers in the 50-80 age bracket? Probably not an awful lot.

Older employees can provide you with different perspectives. They know how to sell to an older target audience because they themselves are part of that audience.

Read more: ‘Real diversity isn’t just skin deep’: Why we need a more thoughtful approach

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