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October 2019
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managers

Managing Older Employees? What Do They Want From You as Their Manager?

Posted by: Dr. Sue Harrington & Reena Jamnadas

 

In the UK, there are over 7 million workers aged between 50 and 64, and one million of these are over 65. A worker who is currently aged 50 is now likely to work another 15 to 20 years.

 

The future age demographics of the British workforce are influenced by factors such as improving health in older age, fewer younger people entering the job market, increases in the State Pension age and the removal of the default retirement age.

 

Using the data we obtained from older workers in Capp’s Ideal Manager Survey, we consider how strengths can be used to manage and motivate older workers to maximise their engagement and performance, and to ensure that organisations benefit from their skills and experience.

 

But first, let’s remove some of the myths regarding older workers:

 

  • No decline in productivity: Older worker productivity does not begin to decline until after age 70;
  • Better health and safety: Older workers tend to have lower sickness absence than younger employees, are more committed to their employer and are less likely to have accidents at work;
  • Comparable return on training investment: Older workers are just as likely to want to learn new and challenging skills as younger workers and will benefit as much as their younger counterparts from investment in their training and development. Furthermore, the risk of any employee leaving after training investment is the same for all age groups.

 

When it comes to managing older workers, Capp’s Ideal Manager Survey revealed that values and principles are important to this group of employees.

 

Three key strengths in managers emerged as particularly important for older workers:

 

  • Mission: Managers who work with a sense of meaning and purpose, and towards a long-term goal;
  • Moral Compass: Managers who are guided by a strong ethical code, and make decisions in accordance with what they believe is right;
  • Personal Responsibility: Managers who take ownership of their decisions and hold themselves accountable for their promises.

 

To make a difference for the older employees you manage, consider these five pointers:

 

1.   Manage authentically and transparently. Whilst managing with integrity applies to all age groups, it is particularly important for older workers.

 

2.   Continue to value, reward and invest in development – ensuring continued and equal opportunities for training and development.

 

3.   Identify what gives each individual a sense of meaning and purpose. Have a conversation about this and explore opportunities to align tasks, projects and goals to this purpose.

 

4.   Provide autonomy and don’t seek to micro-manage – responsibility alongside clear accountability drives personal responsibility.

 

5.   Encourage mentoring relationships and opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and experience.

 

While we recognise that every employee is different and we’re mindful of the dangers of stereotypes, our data do suggest that these three things are the stand-out criteria of things that really matter for older employees.

 

Try putting them into practice and let us know of your experiences on the Comment section below.

 

Download Capp’s Performance Manager White Paper to find out more about what people want from their managers.

 

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What Do Employees Want from Their Managers?

Posted by: Reena Jamnadas & Emma Trenier

 

Whatever our role or level in an organisation, we all have high expectations of our bosses. In particular, we want them to understand our strengths and preferences and tailor their approach to our needs – this came across loud and clear from the 1180 respondents in Capp’s recent Ideal Manager Survey.

 

We also place enormous value in this relationship working positively for us – a miserable, ineffective relationship with their line manager is the most common reason behind an employee’s decision to leave a company.

 

The results of Capp’s Ideal Manager Survey showed that 90% of employees disagreed that all managers should manage in the same way. This appreciation of diverse management styles was also shown in the breadth and range of strengths which employees thought were important for their managers.

 

Notwithstanding this, we see that employees most commonly want their managers to have the following strengths:

 

  • Mission: Providing a sense of meaning and purpose, always working towards a longer-term goal;

 

  • Enabler: Focused on creating the right conditions for people to grow and develop for themselves;

 

  • Personal Responsibility:  Taking ownership of their decisions and holding themselves accountable for what they do;

 

  • Humility: Happy for others to share the credit for their team’s successes;

 

  • Esteem Builder: Able to help people believe in themselves and see what they are capable of achieving.

 

Do any of these strengths surprise you? Perhaps not, as this simple profile paints a picture of a trusted individual who leads through a combination of clear vision, personal commitment and a focus on developing others.

 

How can you develop these characteristics within your management style? Here are our five top tips:

 

  • Create a sense of purpose: Understand what drives each of your team members and gives them a sense of meaning in their work. As you delegate work, help individuals to see how it relates to this wider sense of meaning. In practice: this means spending time talking about context before focusing on detail.

 

  • Role model responsibility:  If you want your team to develop their personal responsibility, choose a handful of areas in which you will actively demonstrate how you do this yourself. In practice: as well as taking responsibility yourself, take responsibility for training your team to do the same.

 

  • Share successes: Recognise the culture and climate that you want to build within your team.  If it is one of shared ownership and collaboration, then seek to share team successes in ways that credentialise others. In practice: share credit with others in a range of ways including public praise, copying senior managers into positive feedback emails, and thanking individuals one to one.

 

  • Give specific positive feedback: Think about providing positive feedback just as carefully as giving ‘constructive’ feedback. Let people know what they have done well and what you would like them to keep doing. In practice: give specific, targeted feedback, along with evidence, when you see great work.

 

  • Set your team up to succeed: Find opportunities to stretch each person in your team and provide the autonomy for them to take full ownership. In practice: identify each person’s strengths so that you align opportunities to these strengths and can be sure the opportunity will provide a positive stretch.

 

By managing in this way, you’ll be taking important to steps to delivering your employees what they want, in turn helping you to deliver the performance you need.

 

Download Capp’s Performance Manager White Paper to find out more about what people want from their managers.

 

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