The benefit of protecting old employees

The benefit of protecting old employees

Change is a fact of life. And while the younger generation is quick and ready to change, the elders may resist it.
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Take any business organisation which is over 20 years old, and you will find that it has two generations working together. Both these generations have different mind-sets and attitudes.

While the younger generation has great opportunities and switches jobs very easily, the older one is more committed and steady.

We see a similar dichotomy in today’s urban-rural divide, wherein the urban residents are inherently restless and on-the-move, while the rural denizens are more sedate and satisfied with life.

Chanakya had a suggestion while making policies for both: “He (leader) should grant safety to the countryside as it may have been settled.” (13.4.2).

In the olden days, kings had to think deeply before taking any decision that may impact people residing in the rural villages.

Providing safety and security was of paramount importance as residents of those particular places did not want to shift easily. Similar is the case with the older generation in any organisation.

They are committed and set in that one place (organisation). To the leader of such organisations, Chanakya suggests that—instead of trying to alter their job profiles—provide them safety.

But how do we deal with the older employees in an organisation?

Benefit from their experience

Experienced people are valuable assets for any organisation as they have put in a lot of hard work to support and build it.

Never take them for granted as they prove to be useful in the most difficult of times. The best utilisation of senior employees in a company is to make them train the younger ones and new entrants with their rich experience. This has the added advantage of creating mutual respect between the two within the organisation, and will also be in accordance with the advice of Chanakya’s to a prince: “Meet elders and learn from them.”

Change them, but slowly

Change is a fact of life. And while the younger generation is quick and ready to change, the elders may resist it. So, even though it’s important and a must, give the senior employees more time to change.

In addition to older employees, this patient approach will also benefit the overall company as the most successful organisations are the ones who understand that the path to success is led by the maturity of the seniors coupled with the dynamism of the youth.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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