Older Employees Also Need to Feel Appreciated

During the late 1990s, I was an educational researcher. I had a manager, Roy, who inspired us by showing genuine appreciation for the contributions we all made to our organization. I’ll never forget the time he sent ‘thank you’ emails to each of us when he took a business trip. He just wanted us to know that he appreciated our work and mentioned specific ways that every person on his team made valuable contributions to our program. I think most all of us would have followed that man anywhere. Each of us felt valued and truly appreciated.

The Value of Showing Appreciation

A 2017 Huffpost article reported findings from a survey that showed a clear relationship between being appreciated and happiness as well as job satisfaction.  According to Pro Staff, appreciating employees can lead to increased trust, productivity, retention, reputation, and culture.

It’s Important to Express Appreciation to Older Workers

Showing appreciation for older workers is often a different story. Negative attitudes and assumptions about older workers may blind some managers to the contributions that are being made in plain sight.

Older workers can also be taken for granted. Research has suggested that older workers who are not appreciated tend to be less devoted and engaged than those who are appreciated. If an older worker starts feeling less engaged but is not ready to leave the organization, then no one wins; the older worker feels devalued and productivity could also be affected.

At the present time, we have low unemployment. Retaining experienced workers should be a priority. Seeing older workers as potentially productive assets rather than defining individuals by their chronological age is a good place to start. By doing so, it will be easier to recognize contributions that can be reinforced through simple expressions of appreciation. Everyone needs to feel valued.


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