Despite older employees having more experience and often being better at their jobs, age discrimination is still an all too common issue. This can also happen with younger employees. The problem is it’s often difficult to prove.
The best way to prevent this and ensure your business benefits from all that older, and sometimes younger, employees have to offer, is through training. Teach employees to recognize this type of discrimination for a more diverse workplace.
Look For Long Term Employees Not Being Promoted
A common sign of age discrimination is when older employees who’ve been there longer and always do a great job aren’t promoted over their much younger peers. This is a clear sign that those employees are considered too old for the position. Whenever employees notice this happening, they should report it to your whistleblower hotline.
Harassing Comments Over Age
This type of age discrimination typically goes both ways. A group of older employees might constantly put down younger hires right out of high school or college. They refuse to work with them or help guide them. At the same time, younger employees might make fun of older co-workers and leave them out of important meetings in order to get ahead.
Train employees to listen for ageist remarks and report them. This type of discrimination can hurt self-esteem, cause employees to not be promoted, create divisions in teams and other issues.
Notice Ages In The Workplace
It’s not unusual for small startups to not be diverse in regards to age. After all, it’s typically a group of friends (young, old or inbetween) around the same age starting a business. However, larger, more established businesses should definitely have an array of ages throughout the company. From college interns to those nearing retirement age, you should see some diversity.
If employees notice that only a certain age range is being hired, they should report it through your ethics hotline. This is age discrimination and actually hurts a business. A wider variety of ages leads to more ideas, better teamwork and more growth for the company.
Older Employees Being Forced Out
A common, yet sneaky way that businesses practice ageism is by forcing older employees out. This might involve suddenly dumping extra work on them, cutting their hours back, only allowing them the most tedious tasks or giving them a small bonus to retire early. Unless employees are paying attention, this can be difficult to spot. However, if you notice older employees suddenly disappearing over the course of a year or two, age discrimination is likely to blame, especially if these employees aren’t quite retirement age yet. This often happens to employees in their 50s.
Proper training helps employees of all ages spot age discrimination, protecting their fellow employees. Ensure you’re using an ethics hotline to give employees a safe way to report these issues.