Aging in the Workplace: 3 Myths

Scott Francis
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In the Austin American-Statesman, I ran across a good article on aging myths in the workplace. In reality, any generalization isn’t going to pre-determine your experience with an aging workforce.  It is the individuals and the culture that determine how you experience aging in the workplace.

The first myth was that older adults don’t work and therefore weigh down the economy.  But refuting that: 35% of men over 60 work today compared to 26% in 1996, and 25% of women over 60 today vs. 15% of women in 1996.

The second myth was that older workers are less productive:

Axel Borsch-Supan and Matthias Weiss of the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging analyzed data from a German truck assembly plant owned by Mercedes-Benz. They found statistically significant evidence of higher error rates for workers under 30 but no evidence of more mistakes as workers age into their 60s.

Productivity improved all the way up to retirement at 65.

That certainly reflects our experience at BP3.  Our team has only gotten stronger as we’ve gotten older together, producing better results for our customers. 

Myth 3: That older workers are blocking younger workers from the job market.  But our experience at BP3 is that our older employees are often our best mentors for college graduates, and the most motivated to pass on what they’ve learned.  Our older team members create opportunities by convincing customers to trust our team, and helping make sure that BP3 delivers on our commitments, and coaching our less experienced team members. There’s far more synergy than competition in my view.