Age diversity doesn’t have a very large share of the popular discourse around diversity, equity, and inclusion. When left unchecked, though, ageism can become just as pervasive and damaging to your organization’s culture as any other -ism.
At face value, age diversity means your team comprises people of varied generations and ages. As with other lenses of diversity, age diversity can advance innovation while deepening your organization’s diversity of thought.
To foster age diversity at your organization, you also need to put in the work to ensure that you don’t only hire diverse people, but that you keep them, and give them a seat at the table. That’s where age diversity training comes into frame.
By creating your own age diversity training program, you can foster inclusivity across all generations. Read on for key considerations to take into account as you build age diversity training for your teams.
Key Considerations for Anti-Ageism Training
Choosing an Accessible Training Format
In order to be effective, your age diversity training will need to be accessible to all—especially across the praxis of age. The format you choose can have a huge impact on engagement.
Our 2020 study on the silent issues of remote work found that 50% of Boomers feel disconnected from their colleagues. With that insight, we can think about what kind of content these employees might find more engaging. Rather than impersonal, text-based communication, a hybrid training experience that blends learning with personal interaction might be the way to go.
Without assuming the technical abilities of your teams based on their age, you can consider the likelihood that people of different age groups have different relationships with digital experiences. Before building this training into the flashiest eLearning platform you can find, take some time to research what systems will be the most accessible for all age groups that your training serves.
Animated videos like the one below are a great way to not only reach all learners, but to truly engage them with accessible material using dynamic visual content.
When employees are disconnected across age groups, the work suffers. That’s why it is important to tap into the rich perspectives that come with age diversity.
“Know-how is available [across] generations but is never really talked about,” says Fabiola Gerpott, a thought leader in diversity management. But while it’s available, she says, employees assume their colleagues aren’t interested in their respective areas of expertise.
According to Gerpott, cooperation between generations is critical inside companies to share knowledge and information. Look for opportunities to build intergenerational exchange into your age diversity training. These moments allow your team to benefit from experiences that are more removed than their own, while also forging relationships that they can carry onward into their work.
Ageism in Recruiting and Hiring
Discriminating against candidates during the hiring process is illegal, harmful, and woefully widespread. Recently, AARP found that 45% of older job seekers felt discriminated against while searching for a job, keeping them from joining the workforce.
Any unchecked hiring trends at your organization that favor members of a certain age group will not only inhibit age diversity, but make it harder to help everyone feel included. If some employees feel particularly out of place at your organization, you may face deepening obstacles to intergenerational communication.
It’s valuable to have age diversity training that targets employees once they are hired, but it’s equally important to cover age diversity even before candidates are hired. Consider covering hiring diversity in your age diversity training, or create a separate module on the topic for your recruiters.
Creating training videos that help expose biased practices are highly effective at unrooting ageism. For example; you can provide guidance such as not asking for a candidate’s age, or guessing their age based on graduation dates found on their resume.
Addressing All Forms of Ageism
Very often, age diversity training falls into the trap of treating ageism as a one-directional issue. In fact; ageism can happen in all directions, across many generations, and even as a bias against members of the same generation as one’s own.
It’s important that you capture that nuance in your age diversity training rather than presenting ageism as exclusive to a particular generation. Present examples through scenario-based training videos that show ageism from older to younger employees, and younger to older employees, and beyond. Be sure to represent diverse ages in your videos, too.
Your content shouldn’t only represent diverse scenarios and characters, but it should also speak to all audiences, especially across age groups. The vocabulary, values, and skills you develop with your age diversity training program should be shared across the entire organization, not targeted toward a particular demographic.
Animate an engaging age diversity training
Age diversity training—and diversity training in general—matters. Do it the right way by carefully considering your content, and delivering it in an impactful way. By creating your own age diversity training videos with Vyond, you can captivate your audience’s attention with representative, character-driven, scenario-based training that gets to the heart of the issue. Try Vyond Studio free for 14 days.
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