Supervising other employees is hard enough, but it can pose special problems when the subordinates are older than the supervisor.
Here are five tips for managing employees who are your senior in years and/or experience:
1. Don’t act like a boss. Refrain from emphasizing your title or your management prerogatives.
2. Don’t barge in with change. Even if you feel change is sorely needed, make it gradually. Older employees may be particularly sensitive to alterations in their work environment.
3. Seek their opinion. Experienced employees have information and ideas that may help you. Ask your people how they feel about current challenges and opportunities.
4. Help them learn new skills. Perhaps older employees aren’t conversant with, say, Twitter, and you want them to be. Don’t assume they’ll resist.
5. Stand firm when necessary. Older employees can seem intimidating to younger ones, whether they mean it or not. Don’t let their perceived disapproval shake your decisions.
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