AMiable Solution #230: Spring Chickens
At one point or another, you’ve either said this about someone else or heard someone say this about you: “he’s no spring chicken.”
The implication, of course, is that you’re old, which for some reason is a bad thing. Although there’s much value in someone who is “new” or “fresh,” we like aged chickens, thank you, especially in the workplace.
Age in the workplace means experience: these folks have seen a thing or two and know how to handle a variety of situations. Age means maturity: they’re more likely to react to surprises with wisdom and grace. Age means predictability: you know, based on their resumes, who’s a loyal worker and who’s a job hopper.
Don’t get us wrong. We love the enthusiasm, optimism, and energy that new graduates and young professionals offer an organization. We just hate to see “winter” chickens get the short end of the stick.
In September 2015, AARP The Magazine published an article entitled, “The Surprising Truth About Older Workers.” In it, writer Nathaniel Reade says that older workers tend to get high marks for loyalty, reliability, and having a deeper network of contacts than younger workers. He said older workers also “score high in leadership, detail-oriented tasks, organization, listening, writing skills and problem solving—even in cutting-edge fields like computer science.”
What’s more, Reade credits older workers with being more motivated by causes than younger workers and being better able to get along with people, solve problems without drama, and call for help when necessary.
Does that mean you should ditch your young employees and hire older workers only? Absolutely not. Just realize that there’s value in your “aged” employees, value that could and should be demonstrated and mentored in your younger crowd.
After all, spring chickens do grow up.