Developing Older Employees In Organizations Essay


Developing talent internally requires sensitivity to different diversity dimensions. One of the underappreciated dimensions of diversity is age, and ageism may be contributing to the underutilization of talent. Instead of expecting that older employees are stuck in their ways or uninterested in change, consider recent research showing that in fact, older employees may be more interested and able to make lateral moves and take posts abroad. In the article “In the Lead,” Hymowitz (2003) shows how managers can work together to maximize the talents and skills of all employees, regardless of their ages. However, employees over 40 or 50 years old are being systematically ignored, their talents underutilized. Hymowitz (2003) claims that most older workers complain of “lack of opportunities for advancement,” (p. 1). Discrimination may be in part to blame, as well as the lack of understanding of how to cultivate and develop the talents of diverse generations. By inhibiting the advancement or progress of employees, organizations risk undermining the culture and creating circumstances that lead to low satisfaction or morale, and even the loss of good talent. Capelli (2014) points out that organizations do themselves a disservice by underutilizing the talent of all employees because “any employer who wants to engage a skilled, motivated,...


There are several concrete steps an organization can take to promote the professional and personal development of all employees. The key is developing an age-conscious management development scheme that benefits individual employees as well as the organization as a whole.

1. Perform a thorough needs assessment, based on the current demographic of the firm and its opportunities for advancement. Each firm will have different opportunities and resources, and will need to have personalized human resources strategies depending on the size of the company and the demographics of its personnel.

2. Consult with human resources and senior managers on how to best implement a management development program specifically designed for different generations. Human resources professionals are skilled and competent in understanding how to cultivate talent. When implementing a management development program, it is important to collaborate with different departmental heads to find out about unnoticed or unknown opportunities.

3. Solicit feedback from employees on what they need and expect in terms of career advancement. As Hymowitz (2003) points out, employees with grown children…

Sources Used in Documents:


Capelli, P. (2014). Engaging your older workers. Harvard Business Review. November, 2014. Retrieved online:

Hymowitz, C. (2003). In the lead. The Wall Street Journal, 24 June, 2003.


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