Many of today's small-business owners are looking for employees that will benefit their company no matter their age. While there are several of qualified and smart college graduates ready to fill important roles, recent research conducted by MetLife Mature Market Institute and the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas found that older workers are more capable of making careful decisions.
Founder and Chief Director for the Center for BrainHealth, Sandra Chapman, noted that these findings are a critical first step in moving beyond age as a key demographic consideration blamed for impaired ability to make decisions. It seems that age is not a one-size-fits-all phenomenon and affects decision-making in different ways for different people.
Impaired decision-making is a myth
The older Americans get, many employers believe that they believe to struggle with their thought processes, and can become a hindrance in the workplace. However, the research found many employees in their 50s, 60s and 70s are not only strong decision makers, but they excel when they are tested to prioritize information in their brains. BusinessNewsDaily said these skills can lead to better financial planning, making them valued employees at many companies.
Director for MetLife’s Mature Market Institute, Sandra Timmermann, stated that assessing an individual’s own strategic learning capabilities and overall cognitive function regardless of age or gender is much better than assuming their age impairs their decision-making ability.
Age doesn't equate to value in the workplace
Many small-business owners can find that their best employees are those that are thought to be ready to retirement, or even those in their 70s. It's important to understand that cognitive function can be strong for employees in the later stages of their lives. Extensive life experience, reasoning ability and accumulated knowledge can be key factors in the strong performance of older employees, said the research.
Chapman said the research also reminds us that age does not constitute an illness, so unusual decreases in cognitive function call for medical attention. They should not be regarded as normal based on age, as it is possible to maximize cognitive potential throughout an individual’s lifespan.
Small-businessowners should definitely not be scared to bring on older employees and add them to their growing workforce. However, it's always a smart idea to have small business insurance policies in place when hiring and/or firing staff members.