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ST Management vs LT Employment & older workers!

July 7, 2011

What are the merits of older workers & what do they bring to the table?  Wharton’s Professor Peter Cappelli comments on why older workers are the best workers!  It’s a 4 minute video & then my comments follow in writing below.

Just to qualify my statements, I’m 49. I feel like I’ve been swimming against the tide for years. I can’t count how many times I’ve had recruiters tell me the average job life for executives is 2-3 years, if that long. How much of that is self serving for them in their businesss model I wonder? I’ve worked for 3 companies in 27 years. 20 years with 1 alone. That is the way I was raised. I believe “Loyalty Breeds Success”. Sometimes the reverse is true, but Loyalty needs to be a 2 way street & when it is, a bountiful harvest & sweet fruit is the yield. It starts with the company doing its part 1st. That is largely what Carrots, Bridges & Horizons is based on. (My personal approach to business.)

The younger generation expects quicker return on their minimal investment. How much of that is our fault as parents? How much of it is company’s fault for building short term incentive programs starting at the top & filtering down, while eliminating pension plans that supported long term employment. I personally support the Carrot Approach & am okay with risk & reward systems, because I know my wortk ethic, track record & skills will overcome. Unfortunately, We all live in the ‘pay me now’ generation. It’s propogated by big business, as well as parents paying their kids way through college & some kids never having to work or earn an allowance until they graduate college.

Unlike our parents that truly had to struggle to make ends meet. We had some good role models. I think the short cuts & limited focus by executives & regular joes, have failed as true lasting role models. Not enough John Wooden’s out there!

Who knows, given the economy, unemployment, foreclosure/short sales, & lack of company loyalty, maybe our kids will see & witness that hard work is needed. Not many companies are willing to take 1 step back for 2 leaps forward. Yet this economy is just the time to do just that! The short term management & lack of loyalty hurts this sound business investment approach, (for both property & human capital.) It’s a definite catch 22.

I’ve been told I’m too old to have such high ideals. When you are young, & carefree, without the many obligations & bills, you can afford to have such high ideals, … but now I have 4 kids, a beautiful wife, home & car payments, college tuition fast approaching… I have too many obligations & worries to be so Ideal in thinking I can work for a company long term. Shucks, I’m pretty near the ideal employee! I can’t afford not to work… If I was divorced I’d be batting 1.000 from an employers point of view… “we like all our employees to have 3 kids with braces, & divorced, They need their job & will work hard!”

I haven’t sold out on my Ideals yet… but it is getting hard… I know there are good companies out there, but not enough with the grit to ACT for the long term.

I won’t blame it all on the young supervisors & their fear to hire older employees. I always want the best team around me,, they can only make me look better! I do blame the lack of fortitude, short term approach & insecurity (realized or not) of executive management. Too many have lost focus, sold out & forgotten their ideals. I won’t go all Christian on you, but their ego & selfishness has overshadowed the real blessings they were given & accomplished.

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