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There is a feeling of psychological maturity that the older worker contributes to the workforce, allowing him or her to actually be a respected leader in the workplace.
Experience obviously plays a key role in the psychological success of the aging worker (Budrys, 2008). The individual that is older is typically more experienced in his or her field, and therefore generally able to perform better and faster than their younger counterparts. This may sound like a surprising statistic since we generally assume that youth means an individual may be able to perform better and faster, but this is usually a physical and not a psychological trend. Psychologically, the performance strength tends to lie with the individual that is more experiences. Therefore, businesses deciding to retain aging workers will be able to utilize them to increase performance and raise standards within the workplace. Furthermore, these individuals could be used to guide and mentor other, younger workers or other workers that may need increased focus. The aging worker not only makes a good leader, as discussed above; her or she also makes an excellent manager. Many businesses, in fact, prefer to hire older workers to perform management functions, because they are so highly experiences. They are usually able to perform well and make excellent decisions with little prodding, and therefore can increase the success of the company in a leadership role.
Therefore, psychologically, these aging workers tend to be a bonus to the organization. Physically, however, there can be issues. Much like the presence of women in the workforce, the increase in aging individuals in the workforce can also create physical implications for the workplace. Any workplace hiring or retaining maturing people, like any workplace hiring many females, needs to retain worker's compensation in case of injury. Also, the workplace needs to have a clear agreement with employees in order to protect itself and also to protect its employees. Just as an increase in women in the workforce has resulted in increasing physical injury, the increase of aging individuals in the workforce has also resulted in increased physical injuries (Equal Employment, 2008).
The focus of an older worker's physical performance is something that has to be monitored carefully. People can be older and still in wonderful physical shape. Basically, the physical performance of an older worker is something that will need to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. However, if the physical aspects of the job are too overwhelming, then the company needs to reconsider its approach to physical labor. The company may need to measure whether or not the skill or the worker will hold out when compared with the necessary physical skills. Again, this will have to be a careful an delicate assessment, and obviously the company may need to weigh whether or not the individual's management skills may be a better use than the individuals' physical skills.
Taking a look at the facts and concepts discussed above, it is important for businesses to take into account the overall physical and psychological issues that come with an increased workforce full of women and mature individuals. Companies obviously cannot discriminate based on sex and age, and they should not anyway since the workforce is increasingly made up of more women and older individuals, they would simply be ignoring the largest available groups of individuals that can actually work and perform the tasks. The fact is, companies need to be more sensitive and aware of the psychological and physical issues that may occur in the workforce as more and more women, and more and more old individuals become a part of the workplace environment. If companies are able to successfully monitor the positives and negatives presented by an aging and increasingly female workforce, than the company can still be successful. The key is for the company to obviously be as sensitive and aware as possible to the psychological and physical issues faced by females as well as those faced by aging Americans. Both of these sectors of society can provide an excellent source of employment as long as businesses pay attention to their needs and motivators.
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Baldridge, J.(2008). Sociology: A critical approach to power, conflict, and change. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Brooks, C. (2009) The aging female workforce. American Sociological Review. 67 (2), (2002). pp.191 -- 211.
Budrys, G. (2008). Unequal Health. New Jersey:…[continue]
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