Businesses need the bubbling enthusiasm of youth and cool calm heads that can only come with experience in order for them to thrive. Young professionals are rising up the corporate ladder faster than ever and landing managerial positions before they are 40. While they have the technical knowledge and management skills to lead their teams and execute their duties well, managing older employees can be a little tricky for some.
These are employees who may have been with the company longer and are definitely more experienced than you are. In order to be an effective manager, it is important to remain confident in your capabilities and not be intimidated by them. More importantly, keep an open mind and avoid any biases.
Here a number of tips on how to manage employees who are older than you.
Whether you are managing your peers or older people, it is important to consult before making major decisions. You want to keep your subordinates involved in important decisions touching on the business.
As a young manager, do not burden yourself with the need to prove yourself too much that you refuse to have any inputs from your older employees. In fact, you could benefit from their experience.
Strike the perfect balance between taking inputs from your reports and being firm and assertive in your decision making. Do not let self-doubt creep in that you become nervous and unsure of your abilities. Remember that you are on that role on merit because you are competent.
On the other extreme end, do not be cocky or aggressive in a bid to stamp your authority. This will only serve to isolate you from everyone and the older employees might even feel slighted by your acts.
This is not to mean that you should be a pushover either. Do not let older employees get away with insubordination or underperformance if you wouldn’t let other team members do the same.
Clearly define the goals and expectations you require of your older employees to avoid unnecessary conflicts. When they know what their roles and objectives are, they will find ways to fulfil them without the need of you constantly checking on them which might be mistaken for micromanagement.
Avail to them the resources they need to complete their projects and keep the targets you have set for them so there is no excuse should there be a failure to deliver.
Continuously appraise their skills and organize trainings for them if there is a new skill that they need to learn. A Tech Exploring Site are one of the many sites where older employees can keep up with emerging technologies.
Relate with them
Every good manager knows the importance of genuinely caring for their subordinates. Employees feel motivated in a working environment in which they feel care for more than the bottom line they generate.
In leading older employees, you’ll need to learn what motivates them, what their fears are, what’s important to them and relate with them better.
If you manage a bigger team, then make an effort to understand at least those who report to you directly.