Do you treat older people the same as you do younger ones? For example, do you invite older people for interviews as often as their younger colleagues? Chances are, the honest answer is ‘no.’ The reason for this is age bias. It’s an unconscious bias or stereotype that we aren’t even aware of. Whether it’s fair or not, we often believe that it’s better to hire younger people. Biases are what our brain uses to help us make decisions more quickly. This almost makes you think that unconscious bias is a good thing. Unfortunately, the contrary is true. It can harm individuals and companies.
The impact of age bias
There are different unconscious biases, which all have a negative impact on how companies perform. The most significant damage age bias can do is:
- Lower productivity
Employees who experience bias in the workplace are nearly three times as likely to be disengaged at work. Do you stop discriminating against older—or in some cases younger—employees? Then you can seriously boost your company’s productivity.
- Reduce retention
Do older or younger employees perceive age bias? Then they are three times as likely to say that they plan to leave their job within a year. Retention is very important, especially in times when staff are scarce. Every good employee that leaves needs to be replaced. This takes a lot of effort and time. And you never know if you’ll be able to find someone who is equally skilled.
- Limit innovation
Age bias also has a negative impact on innovation. When people feel discriminated against because of their age, they are 2.6 times less likely to share their ideas. That’s a shame because to innovate, you need everyone to contribute and share what they think.
Use Textmetrics to eliminate age bias
Age bias is a form of unconscious bias that can be hard to recognize. It pays off to investigate whether it is an issue in your company. The consequences of age bias have quite a negative impact on a company. And you should try everything you can to eliminate it.
Textmetrics can be a big help here, especially when it comes to recruitment. Because candidates of all ages often refrain from applying if they perceive age bias in a job description.
You can use the Textmetrics platform to remove age bias from your job descriptions and all other content. The platform gives you suggestions while you’re writing. For example, words that discriminate against older people are highlighted. You can replace them with words that appeal to everyone. As a result, all your content will be free of age bias. And you’ll have taken a significant step towards eliminating age bias in your company.
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