Description: Have you heard anyone say that it is how old they feel that matters not how old they are? Well while you might have thought that was just wishful thinking on the part of an older person this study suggests that it also impact work performance and satisfaction and a company’s bottom line.
Source: British Psychological Society Research Digest: Companies are more successful when their employees feel young for their age (Alex Fradera)
Date: May 15, 2015
Photo Credit: British Psychological Society
Links: Article Link — http://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/05/companies-are-more-successful-when.html
Past research has shown that younger employees are more likely than older employees to make significant contributions to their companies. This study, however, suggests a re-think of that finding. They asked employees how old they felt and it turns out their performance within their companies was more strongly liked to how old they felt rather than how old they actually were. “Young at heart” employees performed as well as chronologically younger employees suggesting that age related performance on the job is related to subjective rather than chronological age among older employees. Given that the proportion of the workforce that is “older” is increasing companies could do well to pay attention to the suggestions provided by the study authors about how to manage their employees subjective age (assuming, of course, that the re4sults of this study are supported by additional research as single studies are usually not sufficient grounds for changing corporate or government policy).
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe the subjective age effect found in this study. Why might it work the way it seems to?
- What might companies do to help their older employees become more effective?
- What might individual employees do as they age to maintain their work performance?
References (Read Further):
Kunze, F., Raes, A., & Bruch, H. (2015). It Matters How Old You Feel: Antecedents and Performance Consequences of Average Relative Subjective Age in Organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology DOI: 10.1037/a0038909
McEvoy, G. M., & Cascio, W. F. (1989). Cumulative evidence of the relationship between employee age and job performance. Journal of applied psychology, 74(1), 11.