Check out this Jodi Glickman article from the Harvard Business Review blog archives about managing and leading older employees. It can be a difficult task, and we wanted to pass it along, since I know many of you are in that position and it can be difficult. If the following quote resonates with you, I suggest you read the whole article:
“Being a leader is tough enough when you look and sound the part, when you’ve got the war stories to prove you’ve toiled in the trenches and earned your way to the top. But leading without that authority, managing employees ten and twenty years older than you, receiving a mandate from the top but lacking the backing of the troops in the middle and at the bottom of the organization—that is a real challenge.”
While you’re there, make special note of the statements that will undermine your authority if you use them, and learn their more effective substitutes. Best to break those bad habits now before you lose the respect of your employees!
Have you ever supervised older employees? What strategies were most effective for you?