The politically corrected days of discrimination is being (some say ‘has already been’) thrown out with the ‘bath water’ under the guise of ‘market pressures’, ‘the credit crunch’, ‘financial restructuring’ or just plain downsizing.
My updated version of ‘Ageism’ is: ‘the applied or inferred adoption of practices or systems that due to the current climate; encourage inappropriate actions based upon abilities and seniority, or lack off’
Business applied ageism philosophies are growing and affecting everyone. And before you send your comments or criticism…NO! I am not getting on the ‘generations’ kick again…I got a message from an associate who is traveling the world attempting to drum up business for his company and he asked me “What about Ageism in selling to other businesses?” Not a clue! Had never thought of it as an issue worth looking into…
Back to my ramblings…I took the plunge and made calls to several ‘businesses’ to find out what their thoughts, feelings, experience and approach is to the subject, and YES, ageism is well and proactively being applied to business practices. With the financial pressure that is being put on established and new venture companies, they are looking to get a greater ROI from their people, especially the ‘new hires’. This is being accomplished by offering lower salaries with longer periods before performance reviews are conducted…makes great financial sense, but is it really beneficial for the medium to long term for the company business?
With the abundance of human resources in the market presently, two things are a reality today:
- Businesses are growing frustrated with the flood of ‘inappropriate’ applications.
So, it can be seen, that ageism is going to be a factor when selecting and hiring individuals. Caution needs to be the watch word for both the individual and company to reduce the risk of ‘Ageism Exposure’. For the individual, only apply to those companies that meet your employability factor and experience, simply sending your resume to every position/posting will lead to frustration on your part and downright annoyance to the business. For businesses, don’t automatically delete the individual from your ‘Inbox’ or ‘database’ because they are inappropriate, how are you going to ‘prove’ that you do not have an age discrimination practice? If the only individuals you have on file are those who are ‘junior’. Litigation only makes ambulance chasers money and brings pain and heartache to businesses.
Ageism in selling has never gone away, and is more readily accepted as an acceptable practice. How often have we heard – “I can’t connect personally with that sales person! (or company contact)” and never had the courage to tell them? I know I have, but am learning to say, ‘lets try someone else to try to connect too (with)!”. At a recent Trade Show, there were 120+ exhibitors, all vying for peoples attention; afterward I was approached by a company rep; who asked “How did I manage to draw so many people to the booth?” After agreeing that our display was no better or worse than others at the show, I simply said – “I talked to and with the people, not AT the people”. The retort I got was “Oh! Is that because you have been doing it so long?” NO!!!, because I asked a question, listened to the answer, and then talked at that person’s level. Oh I nearly forgot, I added humor and personality to all the conversations, this must be because of my AGEism!!!!