There are often cultural misunderstandings between different kinds of people. Those who come from older generations may find it difficult to understand how the world is adapting and changing in certain circumstances. At the same time, younger people do not have the accumulated experience that those who are bit older do. Companies have to think carefully about how they can make business work out between the generations for the sake of betterment of one and all.
One of the areas where younger and older generations tend to split in the workplace is on how they would like to be managed. The tendency is for younger people to want their manager to be something of a coach towards them. They also tend to prefer a laidback approach in which there is not a sturdy hierarchy of command. Forbes says that older people tend to prefer it when the rules and boundaries are made more clear and when their leaders are direct and fully in charge.
All this means in practical terms is that different people are going to want and expect different things from their superiors. You have to be able to be flexible as a business owner or as someone who is in charge of managing these individuals. They are going to look to you to dole it all out in a way that makes sense to them.
Selling products is all about life experience
There are benefits to having older people on staff when it comes to selling certain products and to explaining certain experiences that they have had. Remember, everyone comes to work with their own unique baggage and life story. Having a workplace that is chalk full of only younger people will offer only a narrow vision of how the world works and what works best for business. A few people on staff from the older generation may be all that you need to help reshape values and make things a bit more interesting along the way.
Hearing aids are one product example that may be best sold by those from an older generation. Younger people are not likely to have had much experience with this product beyond perhaps having a family member who owns one. Older people are much more likely to have social contacts who have purchased this product and understand how it works and how to sell it.
Older people understand social media too
Being polite to older individuals is about not talking down to them. There are plenty of stereotypes out there that older people don’t understand social media or the Internet in general. That is not the case for a lot of them. They like to get on social media just as much as the next person.
Inc.com says that older individuals are beginning to understand in a big way that social media is not just about having fun and connecting with loved ones. They are picking up on the fact that it is also useful for networking and career development as well. Those kinds of things are great lessons for any business owner to learn as it means that they can finally start to market to older people in a way that makes sense.
Listen to what they have to say
You don’t always have to take action to show your respect for your elders. Sometimes you just have to listen. They often have a lot of helpful advice and opinions to contribute to any conversation. Many cultures understand this and revere their elders. Some cultures have moves towards not doing this as much and not gaining the social benefits that older people provide to them as a result.
It is truly devastating that we as a society are missing out on some of the wisdom of older generations simply because we do not stop to listen up. If we can better control this moving forward we can have a better society in general.
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