How to communicate your vision for effective age management to the rest of your organisation
All relevant parties should be involved from the beginning of the planning stage through to implementation and evaluation. Education and training of age awareness demonstrates the necessity and advantages of implementing age-positive policies. It not only serves to challenge unhelpful stereotypes but assists in facilitating a culture of positive attitudes towards ageing.
While early and ongoing communication is imperative in order to build confidence in the process of change, a culture of open discussion aids the recognition and resolution of problems with, or weaknesses in, the programme, and of any opposition to it.
Effective communication concerning rationale, process and impact is important for sustaining the commitment of management and the workforce. Any change must encourage and be responsive to suggestions, criticisms, and modification.
Ongoing communication needs to be accessible and multidirectional within and across departments with the message being communicated via such channels as:
- Policy statements
- Meetings within and across all levels
- Education and training programs
- Web sites
- Feedback e-mail
Ensure that your message regarding age management is integrated into the core values of your organisation, and position the responsibility not only with HR, but with managers and senior executives. HR and line managers and senior executives are the drivers of values and policy, as well as being role models for staff.
Leadership commitment in conveying such values sets the tone and integrates these principles throughout the organisation. Frontline confidence of managers will manifest in better management, resulting in increased recruitment, retention and return of mature age workers. The strategy must be conveyed by management clearly, concisely and repeatedly to enhance awareness, promote open dialog, and remove barriers.