Stomping out ageism in the workplace

Have you ever experienced ageism or know someone who has? More than a quarter of Australians aged over 50 have experienced some kind of age discrimination in the last couple of years according to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

When it comes to the workplace, how do you support older employees? Do you offer the same flexibility and professional development to all ages?

The truth is, every employee deserves the same opportunities.

So, what can you do to stomp out ageism in your business? Our resident HR expert, Lisa has some tips.

  • Don’t fall into the trap of believing out-dated stereotypes. Mature-age workers are not *set in their ways* and *resistant to change*. Nurture an inclusive culture and foster intergenerational exchanges.
  • When it comes to flexible working arrangements, workplaces typically focus on younger workers with family obligations. It’s important to equally promote flexibility for mature-age workers.
  • Put a positive spin on retirement and talk openly about it with mature-age employees. Don’t assume that employees *want* to retire at a certain age. Foster a culture where you discuss employee plans for the future – whatever that looks like. Encourage employees with plans to retire to seek out financial advice early and help facilitate these discussions with a financial planner.
  • Typically, mature-age workers have a wealth of knowledge. Consider the practicalities of multigenerational teams and how you can support the transfer of knowledge in a positive and coordinated way. Support the development of intergenerational relationships through mentoring, working groups and other strategic opportunities. This will help to dispel common myths between workers of different ages and capitalise on the power of knowledge.

Do you need some HR help supporting your employees? Get in touch with Lisa on (07) 4638 3599 or