White sandy beaches, a warm ocean breeze, a pina colada in one hand and nothing to do but work on your tan… for 30 years. With retirement being expected as early as 55 and life expectancy around 80, retirement may not be the right fit for everyone. As humans, it is in our innate nature to be curious and want to socialize. This is why we often thrive in collaboration and feel a sense of purpose in the workplace. People regularly develop pride in their work and enjoy the success and sense of fulfillment that comes with working. This is one of the reasons why many people as they get older are leaning towards staying in the work force and leaving retirement for a later date. Although, the current the employment environment can prove to be a difficult place for senior employees.
Is Retirement a Choice?
Unfortunately, some aging workers are not given the luxury of deciding if they want to retire or not. Older workers have been reported to be pushed or packaged out of a job just because of their age. This becomes an increasingly relevant issue as the baby boomer population enter their 60s. According to Statistics Canada there is now more seniors than there are children. This means that there is a large portion of the work force that is considered to be of retirement age, which is currently estimated at 64 years old. There is a fast-growing population of older workers that may be looking for jobs or who want to keep working.
Ageism in the Workplace
The issue of ageism in the workplace is sadly not a myth and is a reality for many aging employees. Positions are being eliminated and senior staff packaged out to be replaced by younger employees, this is especially prevalent in the technology industry. Then these senior staff members, with years of success and experience, will often face difficulties finding a new position. As reported in a CPA Canada Trends article these senior employees may hear things like “you are too qualified” or “we want a digital native—someone who grew up on computers. ” when trying to find new employment.
This is a disconcerting problem in the workplace, and it takes a smart company to realize that differences in ages should be considered an asset. Years of experience and skills should be utilized instead of written off as outdated. Can some skills really be outdated? As one senior employee at Trend Innovations states “amazing people skills take time and development and those sorts of skills never go out of fashion.”
Trend Innovation Welcomes All Ages
Trend Innovations prides themselves on an inclusive environment. They see value in having employees of any age. President Jelena explained that at Trend Innovations they want a well-balanced workplace and believe that people of all ages have something important to offer the business. While younger employees may be able to offer more experience and skills in some areas, there are still some skills that need to be developed by time and experience.
Nothing Like Some Good Old Fashion People Skills
Two skills that often require experience are personable communication with sales and the confidence to make things happen. This is exactly the type of experience Michael, one of Trend Innovations sales representatives, has to offer. Michael, who is soon to be 65, has over 30 years of experience in sales and has now brought that experience to Trend Innovations. There is new technology involved in sales, especially with digital marketing and an online presence growing across the world. However, there are still stores, and ultimately still people that need to trust and value your brand. This is where Michael shines, he calls and actually speaks to people in real life. I know, what a novel idea! Michael then builds those valuable relationships with stores and customers to make sure Trend Innovations products are accessible to Canadians. His years of professionalism combined with his numerous accomplishments in sales provides Michael with the right amount of personable skills and confidence to make things happen for Trend Innovations.
Keeping Up with the Technology
Although, it’s not to say that the older workers can’t be tech savvy and will not keep up with new age marketing. Trend Innovations Monika, who will be turning 64 in the spring, prides herself on her fluency in current technology in the business place. Monika who has years of experience in running her own business along with 8 years in the financial industry, is very familiar with technological trends. She regularly applies this experience while she assists Trend Innovations with marketing and customer service. Monika recommends that this is of utmost important for her fellow senior workers seeking out employment. “Make sure you are up to date in most of the technology by taking courses and understanding the lingo.” This is something Monika has done successfully, and it has paid off. Her knowledge of current marketing technology combined with her experience in business and finance is a huge asset to the company. When asked about retirement, Monika says she would most likely be very bored and plans to keep working.
Everyone has Something to Offer
It is clear that Trend Innovations has identified a valuable strategy when it comes to their employees. They are capitalizing on the skills that take time and experience to be developed. Hopefully this will become the new trend for businesses. The issue of ageism in the workplace with only become more prevalent as the senior workforce increases. Hopefully more companies will embrace a similar employee mentality to Trend Innovations and appreciate the skills and experience that any age of employee has to offer.