Ageless Talent: Enhancing the Performance and Well-Being of Your Age-Diverse Workforce provides organizational leaders, managers, and supervisors with clear, evidence-based tactics by which to develop and manage an aging and age-diverse talent pool. This volume provides an easy-to-implement set of tools for addressing the difficult problems related to employee performance and well-being amid ongoing technological and social change.
Ageless Talent introduces a straightforward framework (PIERA) that translates scientific advances into actionable steps and strategies. Using this framework, this book provides practical illustrations to help readers design their own small-scale interventions to achieve desirable goals under diverse organizational constraints. Furthermore, the book addresses modern management challenges arising across the globe, and offers suggestions for leaders interested in short-term and long-term change. These suggestions, grounded in time-tested and leading-edge research evidence, include specific step-by-step guidelines, customizable to different types of organizations and industries.
With economic, cultural, technological, and demographic shifts making the changing nature of work a pressing concern for organizations around the globe, Ageless Talent is an essential text for practitioners – HR professionals, organizational leaders, and managers – as well as management education programs and professional training and leadership programs. It will also appeal to instructors and students in the field of industrial/organizational psychology.
Lisa M. Finkelstein is Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Northern Illinois University.
Donald M. Truxillo is Professor at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland.
Franco Fraccaroli is Professor at the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento.
Ruth Kanfer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Work Science Center at Georgia Institute of Technology.
From Chapter 1: Work is evolving, and so are workers (pp. 7-8)
Understanding Workers as Continuously Developing BeingsIt is surprisingly easy to think about employees as interchangeable. Yet we know that employees differ in many ways, in terms of personality, skills, and other differences that affect productivity. But one way that has often been overlooked is how people differ as a function of their life experiences and changes in physical and cognitive abilities over the life course. Gerontologists, developmental psychologists, work and organizational psychologists, human factors specialists, and HR and management professionals are conducting important research on how “people changes” over the lifespan affect workability and job attitudes. Although it has long been believed that workers necessarily deteriorate with age, it turns out that it is not so simple. The research does indeed show that, on average, there are physical declines that eventually come with aging, as well as some cognitive declines that affect how well we remember and process new information. The good news, however, is that age-related physical declines are being pushed back to later in life, and that there may be some advances that come with age. For those reasons, for a growing number of people paid employment may extend well beyond traditional retirement ages.Although the notion of loss in physical and mental competencies during later adulthood is deeply embedded in most cultures, there is also research to show some important advantages of aging. For example, people tend to acquire knowledge through experiences as they age. They also are better able to regulate their emotions, optimize resources, and hone their social skills. A real-world demonstration of this cocktail of advantages being utilized for high-impact was seen when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger capitalized on his years of flying experience and service on accident safety boards to orchestrate the landing of flight 1545 to safety in 2009. A fictional, and more mundane though likely common, example was seen in the 2015 feature film The Intern, when Robert DiNiro’s character used his decades of experience to help his young coworker resolve workplace conflict.It is important to understand, though, that the rate of these changes within any one particular person will depend on where they were to start, the mosaic of life experiences in and out of work that they have amassed (e.g., at work, in their families), and even their own proactive strategies for aging well (e.g., exercise). All this, mixed in with those larger changes to the work environment we described earlier, creates a complex recipe for change.So you might be wondering, if there are so many things going that determine how people age, how can I make sense of it all in a way that can be of help? We believe that understanding what we know about how people evolve over their work lives can put people at a tremendous advantage, rather than ignoring the aging of the workforce or simplifying it into generational divisions. Plus, in this book we couple this knowledge with tools for being able to spot and work with aging employees specific situations. Moreover, additional tools in this book will help you think like systematically uncover evidence for strategic improvements.