Partners Human Resources and Payroll

Building Good Relationships with Senior Employees


Being an employer is not for the faint of heart, particularly with the wide variety of laws involved. One law that can be complex is the Age Discrimination Employment Act, which makes discriminating against someone one on the basis of age illegal. Simply engaging in good hiring practices for people of varying age isn’t always enough. Unless you know how to build good relationships with older employees, they may still feel discriminated against.

Building strong relationships with older employees, whether they are new hires or have been with you for years, isn’t just about making sure they are happy. Employers can leverage the power of senior employees by recognizing the benefits they bring to the table. There is no reason you cannot foster relationships that are a win-win if you develop the following practices.

  • Don’t make assumptions – You may fear senior employees won’t respect your management and guidance because you are younger. You may assume they aren’t very tech savvy. You may assume they learn things the same way as you do. You might also fear you will find it hard to relate to them. Your first job is to stop making assumptions. Treat each person as an individual, take care to communicate properly, and do your own job well so that respect is easily granted.
  • Build on strengths – Everyone has specific strengths. Senior employees can teach things to younger employees and vice versa. Learning is not something that ends with a university degree or even a specific age. Fostering a relationship where strengths are noted and utilized can take your business to great heights. Lifetime experiences of senior employees can be a treasure trove. They know how to survive hard times and how tragic it can be to have regrets. They also often have strong loyalty and people skills. Show them you appreciate those strengths, and you’ll benefit from their loyalty.

Building good relationships with senior employees is very similar to the way you should do it for all your employees. If you are courteous, respectful, and positive, it’s easy to build a good team. The benefits are immeasurable, and you’ll stay on the right side of the various labor laws. Should you need professional advice and payroll assistance, do not hesitate to contact Partners Human Resources.

Posted on: February 13th, 2017


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