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Age Related Stereotypes at Workplace


If one look at the general trend across the world, it can be seen that the overall age at the workplace is decreasing. As the organizations are keener these days for inducing young blood into their ranks, the average age that one gets to see at the workplace is going down (Kunze et al. 2015). At the same time, there is also a stereotype emerging that with age, there are certain habits and traits develop among the employees (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). What it does is that it starts to affect the large group of the individuals (Sun et al. 2018). If due to the stereotype, or some pre conceived notion the productivity of the employee is being evaluated, then it is something that that is needed to be looked at (Kunze et al. 2015). In this paper, it would be seen that how the age related stereoytypes work at the workplace and how these affects the old age employees at any given workplace (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

Statistics about the Old Age Employees and Reasons Older Employees are Retiring Early

Before one can proceed with the stereotypes, it would be interesting to see at some of the stereotypes that are witnessed at the workplace (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). In 2010, as per research, about 30 % of the employees across the world are aged about 40 % which is a decline of about 10 % if one compares with the same number about a decade ago (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). There are many reasons for it, and as the organizations are more eager to bring in the younger group of people, the fact that people these days are also not very eager to push their retirement age (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). With better retirement planning, and fund management policies available these days, the older employees are much more certain about what they would be doing after they have retired (Kunze et al. 2015). So that increased certainty about the future have also prompted the employees to be much surer about the way they plan their future (Schloegel et al. 2018). That does not mean that there are negative stereotypes at place that prompts them into the early retirement as well as the way organizational culture is shifting these days (Kunze et al. 2015).

Negative Stereotypes against the Employees With Respect to their Age

It is quite natural that the negative stereotypes area going to affect the long term performance of the organization (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The research that was carried out previously have showed that the mangers these days are more than eager to prefer youth over the experience (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The situation becomes all the more problematic when there is a case if the employee is above 40 years old (Kunze et al. 2015). The bias that is on display here not only affects the overall quality of the worker that is displayed by the older worker, it has long term implications over the health and determination of the retirement age of these people (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). That does not mean the organizations do not have issues, what happens is that the even organizations start to face age related discrimination lawsuits and even worse, they have hard making sure that they are able to retain the employees in the proper manner to say the least (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

Some of the Common Age Related Stereotypes

During the course of this paper, some of the common age related stereotypes at the workplace are going o be looked at (Goštautaitė & Bučiūnienė, 2015). It is going to include the lack of motivation as well as the less willingness to opt for training and other things (Goštautaitė & Bučiūnienė, 2015). The other perception about these employees is that how they are less reluctant to be signing for the career development programs as well as always showing some sort of resistance to the change (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The other major stereotype about the employees is that they are not trusting of each other at the workplace and have this habit to bringing the energy down at a certain level all the time (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The other absurd stereotype that is being faced by these employees is that how they are more likely to have health related issues as compared to the people who are younger (Oude Mulders et al. 2016). The problem is that there is not empirical evidence to support these claims and just on the basis of these prejudice, employees are being treated in an unfair manner (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

Less Motivation

One of the most common stereotypes that are being faced by these employees is that they are less motivated as compared to the younger people (Goštautaitė & Bučiūnienė, 2015). It is due to the fact that it is perceived that the younger employees are more driven and have a greater sense of purpose as compared to the older employees (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The perception is that as they have spent considerable time in the system, they have lost this urge to improve themselves and instead they are more interested in making sure that the status quoi that is being witnessed at the workplace can be maintained all the time (Goštautaitė & Bučiūnienė, 2015). At the same time, other major problem that is being faced by these employees is that as they have not previously contributed to the growth of the business, they do not have the motivation to not only improve the organizational outlook or to work on themselves (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

Lack of Willingness to Train and Opt for Career Development

When one talks about the career development, it is about making sure that the conscious effort is being made towards making sure that the effort for career development is carried out. So if one talks about the way career development is carried out, it talks about making sure that how people should be willing to invest in their skill set as well as make sure that they are constantly trying to improve their overall outlook (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The perception about the older employees is that not only they are extremely reluctant when it comes to opt for the career management and career development programs, they are also quite hard (Lyons et al. 2015). The reason that this stereotype is augmented is due to the fact that if one looks at the statistics of the University and training courses enrolment, the age related issues are for there for everyone to see (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The actual estimate that about 55 % of the people who are signing up for the training and development program are in the age of 35 to 40 years which goes to show that how effort is needed to be carried out to make sure that age related issues and career development are interlinked with each other at a given workplace. Again, the empirical evidence is not given much importance (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

Resistance to the Change

The other perception that is being developed about the employees is that the older the age of the employee, the greater is the resistance to the change that employee would be showing with the passage of time (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). Again, the main issue that is needed to be taken into the consideration is the fact that how this whole concept is developed (Lyons et al. 2015). There are two ways through any change is being implemented in the organization (Lyons et al. 2015). Either it is the change in the working processes, such as integration of the technology, or it might be the case where some sort of cultural shift might be witnessed in the organization (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). When there is a case of the technological change, the rationale that is being seen is that as the older employees are more accustomed to work at the obsolete systems, as well as their lack of aptitude when leaning new systems, they are always going to be showing some sort of resistance to the way change is being carried out (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). This is true to an extent due to the fact that there is significant evidence to suggest the fact that when the newer technologies are being implemented, the older employees are the ones that have the hardest time to adopt these technologies (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The other major problem that is that when there is cultural shift in the organization, these employees are not going to welcome the whole process (Lyons et al. 2015). For instance, these days the concept of the flexible working hours is increasingly evident (Lyons et al. 2015). The research has showed that the employees that are aged about 40 are more comfortable when they are working at the physical environment of an office (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). On the other hand, if one talks about the younger employees, they are always devising methods to make sure that how they can be more flexible when it comes to their approach (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

Lack of Trust

Coming towards the workplace dynamics, it is an interesting debate regarding the way whole trust issues are going to be work out at any given age related group (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). The common perception n the organizations where there is vast gap among the age of the people are that there is apparent lack of trust among people with regards to the way they carry out their duties (Oude Mulders et al. 2016). Looking closely at the way it works, what really happens is that when there is vast age difference in the organization (Goštautaitė & Bučiūnienė, 2015). As is the case in any group, the younger people are more likely to be gelling together and spending more time with each other (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015). The same is the case other way round that the older employees are going to be hanging out with the person who belongs to the same age as their own (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). When that happens, there is always a sense of disharmony among the team and as is the case, people are going to be more trusting to the person who is of their same age group or the part of their circle (Oude Mulders et al. 2016). Again, the key thing that the management has to make sure that how they are going to make sure that how this dynamic is going to be played out (Appannah & Biggs, 2015). If there is a case that the workplace dynamic is going to be affected by this whole ordeal, then effort has to be made to these notions must be done away with a certain level to make sure that the broader organizational goals are being achieved (Oude Mulders et al. 2016). The long term goals and the success of the organization must go a long way towards ensuring all these things are being done in the appropriate manner (Appannah & Biggs, 2015).

More likely to be Experiencing Health Related Problems

These days, organizations have to be pretty shrewd when it comes to making sure that how they are going to look after the way healthcare problems are supposed to be managed (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015). The key thing that is needed to be looked here is that how this relation is going to work out regarding the cost of the healthcare and insurance and other health related coverage that the organization has to pay and the overall health of the employees (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015). Again, there is not much empirical evidence to suggest that just because the organization has large number of young workers; it is always going to have employees whose health is going to be ideal (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015). The key thing that is needed to be understood is that the overall health of the employees is something that is going to vary from one person to the another and it is something that is highly individualistic in nature. The employees have to make sure that they look after their healthcare themselves and if they opt for the healthy lifestyle, then age does not matter much as far as their broader healthcare issues are concerned to say the least (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015).

Positive Stereotypes Regarding Age in Organization

That does not mean that all the stereotypes that exist in the organization about the age of the employee are going to be true (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015). For instance, most of the times, the common word that is associated with the employee whose age is on the higher side is that they are bringing experience to the table (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015). Especially if one talk about different cultures likes Japan and India, the trait of being experience is considered as something that is going to replace the experience of the person (Goštautaitė & Bučiūnienė, 2015). At the same time, the other major issue that is needed to be looked at is that how the younger employees are perceived, it is always assumed that they would bring an X-Factor in the organization with new ideas, but the problem is that the way educational system is these days, the likelihood that they would be contributing anything positive in the organization (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015).


It can be seen that in the organization, there are both negative and positive stereotypes that are witnessed in the organization (Finkelstein et al. 2015). The key thing that is needed to be looked at is that how in the long run the organization can make sure that it can achieve the right sort of balance with regards to the way this change is going to be implemented at the level of the organization (Oude Mulders et al. 2016). The most common age related stereotype is that how with age, there is going to be change in the level of the motivation level of the employees (Finkelstein et al. 2015). The other major stereotype that is witnessed is that how employees are might become less motivated and might lose the drive and urge to do well to ensure that they work towards their career development in the appropriate manner (Finkelstein et al. 2015). It has to be noted that there does not exist considerable empirical evidence when it comes to these stereotypes and they exist just for the sake of it (Dordoni & Argentero, 2015).


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