How old are you? Really?  That old? Can you keep up?  Mike Jagger and Paul Mcartney are over 80 and still performing  There are so many famous and not so famous people enjoying their lives well into their 80s and 90s  Why must we define people by a number instead of who they are and what they can do?

When do the qualities of adulting change to age bias? You are too old!  We are hearing that more today especially with the elections. So many assumptions are made based on a number. Yes, there are people who seem old at earlier ages and there are some that never seem to age.

Perhaps it is time to recognize the person and their assets at whatever age they are; yes that includes gen Y and gen z but not in this article.  As I am writing this I think about my mother who had amazing executive assistant skills. She could type 100 words a minute accurately, handled bookkeeping, was super organized and great on the phone. The company where I was working needed someone to do data entry on the computer; she  was in her mid 70s at the time. She agreed to do the work even though she had never used a computer before. Within a short period of time she was entering data and creating word documents.

It’s time we looked at the person not the arbitrary number that is only relevant for medicare or SSI collection.  Studies of older workers have shown several important factors

  1. Productivity and Performance: Contrary to stereotypes, several studies have found that older workers often exhibit higher levels of productivity and performance compared to their younger counterparts. Research by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, for example, suggests that older workers tend to have lower rates of absenteeism and turnover, as well as greater job satisfaction and commitment.
  2. Experience and Expertise: Older workers typically bring extensive experience and expertise to the workplace, which can be invaluable for problem-solving, decision-making, and mentoring younger colleagues. Studies have shown that teams comprising a mix of age groups tend to be more innovative and effective than those composed solely of younger workers.
  3. Adaptability and Learning: While it’s often assumed that older workers may struggle to adapt to new technologies and ways of working, research suggests that many are quite adaptable and eager to learn. A study published in the Journal of Managerial Psychology found that older workers tend to have higher levels of motivation to learn compared to younger workers, particularly when they perceive the learning as relevant to their job or personal development. My mother exhibited this trait as do many others.
  4. Age Diversity and Organizational Performance: Studies examining the relationship between age diversity and organizational performance have produced mixed results. Some research suggests that age-diverse teams can enhance creativity, problem-solving, and decision-making by leveraging a broader range of perspectives and experiences. However, managing age-diverse teams effectively requires addressing potential conflicts and biases that may arise. this can be countered by creating a culture that respects age differences and eliminates the bias and perceptions that are counter productive. This is an ongoing process

Imagine a work place that fully utilizes the expertise and ideas of every age group and sets that as the standard. the following list is an FYI and Warren Buffet is 93, and  Bill Gates is 69 this year would you tell either one  to stop working?

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