He has wrinkles, lost a step in his gait, and refers to Google as “the Internet.” Despite a few quirks and a learning curve related to millennial lingo, there are more than a bundle of reasons to consider bringing on grandpa as a consultant or internal worker.
He may run slower, but wisdom and experience makes his mind mightier than most coworkers. Here’s why you’re losing your mind if you won’t consider hiring older workers.
Mae West once said “you’re never too old to become younger,” and regarding a career, the elderly are never too old to relate to younger peers. After all, they’ve “been there and done that.” As a salute to experience, the average salary of mentors or consultants rises as they age.
Writer, Oscar Wilde, once quipped that “punctuality is the thief of time,” yet older workers seldom give managers anything to worry about regarding being on time. My father remembers how he had to sign in each day upon getting to work; if you were late, the secretary made you put your name in red ink, a blatant red flag to managers and a black mark on your reputation. Millennials are used to ‘flex time’ and remote working, but grandpa will be on time each time he comes to work.
It’s likely grandpa was affected in some way by the Great Depression. Whether stories were relayed to him by his father, or he observed peers surviving off little pay to support a family, some experiences are hard to remember and help form ethics that are harder to break. Older workers are dedicated and understand the value of a dollar, despite the current rate of exchange.
He may have to adjust his hearing aid, but grandpa needs zero help being a great listener. Ernest Hemingway said “most people don’t listen,” and if you’ve noticed the wealth of opinions that fill Twitter streams, Facebook profiles, and social platforms, you may agree. Those who are mature have learned to close their mouths and open their ears, which helps to understand the target market regardless of industry. Listening is a lost art, and for most, it takes time to graduate to a class of person who knows when to put the kibosh on their own opinions and realize answers are blowing in the wind.
Elders have pensions, savings, or and learn to live below their means. Moreover, grandpa is more than happy to take less pay in exchange for the intrinsic value that goes along with feeling needed and being a company asset. Moreover, elderly workers have to face age discrimination when vying for jobs, which equals a happy employee who is willing to work for less.
In an age of realtime stats, instant uploads, and fickle attention spans, grandpa’s ability to ‘see the whole picture,’ and take pride in his work deserves recognition and appreciation. Not to take away from the accomplishments of young and successful CEOs and entrepreneurs, but grandpa understands and takes pride in his work.
In an age that judges based on number of friends, retweets, and likes, grandpa doesn’t lose sight of what it takes to be successful before enjoying the fruits of pride.
Young workers may complain about working weekends, spend hours on smartphones during the workweek, and do personal shopping when they should be working, but grandpa is mature enough to leave his dated smartphone at home, or in his town car. Not to mention, he’s more than happy to have any kind of plans for the upcoming weekend. Being a good worker takes talent, but regarding personality, it requires a level of maturity that can be lost on younger workers.