Young and old fail to see eye to eye in the workplace

UK
businesses are struggling to create age-diverse workforces, and the majority of
managers admit they must do more to help young and old staff work together.

Although
70 per cent of employers acknowledge that companies will fail without an
age-diverse workforce, three-quarters of managers say they are struggling to
accommodate both older and younger staff, according to a survey from Opinion
Leader Research.

The
Vodafone UK commissioned report, based on interviews with 300 senior executives
and 1,000 staff, highlights the cultural divide between the ages.

Two-thirds
of 16 to 25-year-olds believe
they are more innovative than older people, but that nearly two-thirds of
employers disagree. And 66 per cent of employers think customers don’t like
dealing with young, inexperienced staff.  

However,
many managers feel that what younger employees lack in humility, they make up
for in energy.

Bill
Morrow, US-born chief executive of Vodafone UK,
said UK
businesses should adopt a more American outlook.

"It
appears we tend to celebrate age a little more in the US,"
he said. "In the UK
it seems more common to caricature older people as grumpy, hard-up and feeling
sorry for themselves.

"The
findings will raise real challenges for many UK
businesses across all sectors."

Personnel
Today is investigating the changing demographics at work in a special issue out
on 26 October.

 

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