Are you starting to see signs of ageism in your place of work? Then, let’s fix that.
Age discrimination is a problem in our society that has infiltrated the workforce. Older employees won’t be given new opportunities and may even face harassment. However, there are several things you can do to ensure ageism stays out of the office.
Keep reading to learn how to stop ageism in the workplace.
Have a Fair Hiring Process
If you want to have a diverse company, you have to hire people of all ages.
The first step is to write job descriptions that don’t lend themselves to younger employees. For example, words like “energetic,” “new graduates,” or “tech-savvy” imply that you’re looking for a younger person. Better words are “dedicated” and “a team player.”
The second step is to have a fair interview process. Don’t ask interview questions like “how old are you?” or “when did you graduate college?” These could imply that their age is a problem or is the reason they don’t get hired.
Hold Diversity Training
One way to tackle challenges of change in the workplace is to hold diversity training.
Your company may already have diversity training, which is great. But if it doesn’t include a lesson on ageism, you should add it. Employees and leadership alike should be a part of this training.
And if you leave ageism training out of your lesson, it could open your company up to a discrimination lawsuit.
Be Aware of Ageist Stereotypes
You should be aware of ageist stereotypes so you can stop yourself and others from perpetuating them. Some stereotypes against older working people include:
- Bad with technology
- Can’t learn new things
- Not productive
- Need more time off
- Want to retire soon
And while some assumptions may seem harmless, they’re not. Someone may feel hurt or offended by one of these stereotypes being projected onto them.
Set Rules in Place
To stop ageism, you have to create rules that punish discriminatory actions. And once those rules are set, they should be enforced so people take them seriously.
For example, you shouldn’t tolerate ageist comments or jokes. Even if there wasn’t mal-intent behind it, the person should receive a warning or attend more diversity training.
Encourage Employees to Speak Up
You want to let employees know that you hear them and their voices are valuable. If they experience ageist discrimination at work, they should feel comfortable coming forward about it.
To make them feel at ease, tell employees that what they say will be kept confidential and taken seriously. It takes bravery to come forward about an issue, and they should feel safe while sharing their experience.
Let’s Stop Ageism in the Workplace
Ageism in the workplace should never be acceptable. But through fair hiring, diversity training, and zero tolerance for discrimination, things will start to change. And hopefully, everyone will feel valued and comfortable at work.
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