How do I manage staff who are as old as my parents?

How do I manage staff who are as old as my parents?

Dear Aunty B,

I’ve worked hard and now run my own company at a pretty young age. This means I’m now hiring staff who are quite a bit older than me. How do I manage these people? I think I’ve got a pretty good relationship with the staff who are my age as we’ve got more in common.  We can go for drinks together and talk about similar things. But these latest hires are my parents’ age and I feel a bit silly bossing them around.

Only 24

 

Dear Only 24,

You may be a whiz kid who runs their own company but you’re not that smart if you think managing people involves “bossing them around”.

I’m feeling a bit of sympathy for these older employees given that I’m probably around your parents’ age as well. Whether managing older or younger employees, the key is to make sure you never let on that you feel a bit awkward about the situation.

If you think the situation is awkward it will become awkward. These staff may not be your new best friends, but their age is irrelevant to how they can do their job.

Be a consistent leader and treat all your staff members the same. Make sure you don’t favour your younger employees ahead of the older ones. All age groups have something to give.

Be Smart,

Your Aunty B

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