For a small business owner, senior workers can seem like a risk. You might worry they won’t master key technology, for example, or won’t fit in with your youthful team. If you can get past these concerns, you might find that older workers can actually solve a variety of common small-business problems ranging from inexperience to high turnover. With a stronger senior workforce, you can build a more diverse, powerful team.
When you’re looking for stability and continuity in your team, older workers are a great solution. By the time they reach retirement age, seniors are often settled in their homes and communities, so they’re less likely to quit and move to another city. Retirees are also more stable, career-wise, in comparison to your younger workers who may eventually jump ship for a better offer or an unmissable career opportunity. Older workers have less incentive to leave and move up the professional ladder. As a result, you can reduce turnover and save on hiring and training costs.
Older workers often bring decades of industry experience to the table. While your younger staff members might be more adept at technology, seniors bring something that only comes with years of work: hard-won wisdom. They’ve watched your industry change and grow, and they have firsthand experience in what works and what doesn’t. This insight can give your team an enormous advantage in product design, testing, sales and more. Since older workers have a broader industry knowledge than your junior staff, they can be invaluable in identifying the best business opportunities and spotting potential problems.
Over their years of experience, senior employees build a large network of professional relationships. These contacts can be invaluable to your small business. An older worker can provide personal introductions and reach out to important industry players to whom you may not have access. As a result, you can find new partnership opportunities or identify lucrative B2B clients. This automatically gives your company a competitive advantage over other young companies with a more limited network.
Young workers bring enthusiasm and non-jaded ideas to your startup or small business, but in some situations, such as pitch meetings or investor presentations, that youthfulness can work against you. Senior workers, with their confidence and experience, can solve this problem. Their voice of authority can add a sense of gravitas to your team, which is important when you’re dealing with older clients and investors. A balanced blend of youthful energy and sage wisdom can simultaneously inspire potential partners and set their fears at rest for a winning combination.
A small business requires an enormous amount of work from every employee. Senior workers, who came up in a tradition of dependability and punctuality, can be a great asset to your company. After decades of work, they know exactly how to meet deadlines, handle clients professionally and stay focused on the goal. This dedication and work ethic can set a great example for your young employees.
While older employees might require a higher salary than new college graduates or young professionals, their dependability, connections and wisdom more than make up for the extra cost. By integrating seniors into your workforce, you can create a high-functioning, competitive team.