Everything Has Changed but...
Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, catalyzing innovation, merging cultures and provoking new ways of working (and living). There’s more demand and attention paid to empowering and inspiring leaders and teams to harness the disruptive potential of change and drive revenue growth, brand stature, social impact and personal fulfillment.
With all the emphasis on change, we’ve barely scratched the surface in one major way, in one major place: the work place.
While the world is radically evolving, there’s one place that has kept old attitudes, language and expectations. That’s the place where age is synonymous with roadblocks to of growth. Welcome to the modern workplace. Welcome to Age by-passing™,the unspoken ritual of being outcast for no other reason than a number.
Some organizations call it a “strategy shift”, or an “expense restructuring” or that inimitably odd combination of words: an “intellectual transfer” (Really now, who came up with that one?). At odds with that most basic of truths, here it seems that the wisdom of age and experience no longer holds water, can be of no service.
But even with the foreknowledge of this, when it happens to you it comes as a shock because you can’t understand why – with a long, healthy stretch of repeated, substantial contributions. In the territory of Age by-passing™, we feel reduced – dismissed, alone and, in a flash, irrelevant. If we’re not fully ignored or cut loose from the mother ship, we’re forced to carry around a daily cloud of fear, our leadership is constantly in question, and the quiet drumbeat of the unspoken “here it comes” grows ever more deafening.
We know that Age by-passing™ is as ancient as the hills. And you’d think in the time of the #metoo movement, Silicon Valley and the democratization of technology, it would be better. In reality, it’s not. If the stated ideal is bringing about greater inclusivity and diversity then before, age and acquired wisdom ought not to be on the chopping block.
Productivity is not linear. Start with the fact that an engaged workforce delivers 2X more productivity than those that are not. On average, only 3% of the workforce is engaged. But, 65% of talent 50+ are engaged.
THE GAPING HOLE: ONLY 3% OF THE GENERAL WORKFORCE ARE ENGAGED
HOWEVER, COMPARE WITH THE 65% OF TALENT 50+ YEARS ARE ENGAGED
Why are the contributions of this significant source of talent being actively minimized and ignored? Why are companies allowing productivity to walking out the door?
This global community of experienced talent is the most critical segment for organizational growth.
We call them Thrivers™. An amazing group of people with substance, insight, inner power and purpose. These are individuals who have and want to continue to shape the future in ways that are better than before. They’re eager to stand on their shoulders of their experiences and on the other extreme try completely new things yet with a clear purpose; to continue to be productive, to contribute in small everyday ways and together in big important ways. Meet Thrivers™
A few additional facts on Thrivers™.. Based on an EY study of professionals across three generations, characteristically,Thrivers™ scored highest as being:
team player (56%)
essential for others’ development (55%)
best generation to “manage in challenging times (48%)
AN EASY, CONSTRUCTIVE CALL FOR A BETTER WAY
For Right Now
Let’s get back to work, in a better way. Let’s start right here. THIS. HERE. NOW. I’m learning that change happens in small increments. Not small in vision. Small in ways where it’s a step forward everyday. Here are a few guidelines for companies for each of us to start walking:
Re-think and use new words:
From Encore career to simply your next role
From Middle-age crisis, to re-invention or re-purposing
From The kids and the Adults to a person’s name or responsibility
Don’t think of age as a demographic. We think of it as possibilities:
Be curious. Wonder why you or a colleague is being Age by-passed? Don’t ignore it, start the conversation and ask why? Being curious is a way to stand up.
Expel the myth of scarcity: why aren’t there clothes for my style, or movies, or jobs or food, or gyms? Ask why? The more we do, the more we’ll be heard.
Have a reciprocal mentorship: knowledge exchange from you to someone at the beginning of their career. They’ll teach you about social media and how to consider new ways of working, thinking, self-expression.
Join us each week as we bring stories, stats, questions, curiosities and pathways to making our organizations better: communities of business that teach and inspire all generations and cultures. We believe our workplaces can be humane again, where we’re excited to go to work. Where we’re better as leaders, better as teams making valuable, impactful contributions.