Lead a team in the department is a common thing. But, lead a team with older employees inside of it will bring a new dynamic. Here are some tips from on how to lead older employees.
1. Know yourself, the strength and the limitation.
2. Understand the employee’s different type of personalities that you are working with. Someone with older age usually demands more respect with younger people. This form of respect varies according to personality type.
3. Know how to fit in. You must be able to find the best key to fit in when dealing with each older employees. If they are happy to be heard, then you have to show that you can be trusted to listen to their communication. If they prefer to be quiet, you are the one who should politely to starts the conversation. If they are perfectionist, you need to understand the reason behind their perfectionist attitude.
4. Be humble. Even you are younger and now have become a leader, you can’t work alone and reach the target without their help. You also can’t get their respect if you don't put yourself as a humble leader.
5. Admit there is an age differences. Tell them that you are aware of it and tell them there are a chance for things to be unconformable in the future. But don’t make this gap as a thing that prevent your department to communicate and working professionally. Also explain that you expect for their experience and perspective to bring a great contribution for company.
6. Be open for critics and suggestions. Manage our subordinates with confidence, but let them express their suggestion and critic for their work and your leadership. You don’t have to consider and agree to all of the aspiration since at the end of the day, you are the one who make a decision.
7. Try to ask for advice and suggestion when you have to finish a project that involving a lot of people. If needed, invite them for a meeting and ask them to be an advisor.
8. Do not forget to involve them in a group of decision making or negotiation. After all, they have more experiences than you.
9. Keep them up to date about the information in our department (technical or non-technical), so they will not feel forgotten.
10. Give them appreciation for their achievement.
11. Ask them sometimes to sit together, listen to their complaints, dissatisfactions, and their desires. Then talk about the solutions.