One of the hallmarks of the hospitality industry is that the majority of workers are younger. This is a result of most hotel and restaurant jobs being seen as “entry level” positions or even jobs for the “unskilled.” But the times, they are a’changing. The past years, due to economic factors plus the high rate of unemployment, have seen more senior workers applying for positions as waiters/waitresses, desk clerk, and housekeeping staff positions. Managers will want to view these potential, older workers in a new light. To aid in the paradigm shift, here are twelve strengths older workers bring to the job.
1. Dedicated workers produce higher quality work, which can result in a significant cost savings. Stories abound of highly committed older workers finding others' potentially costly mistakes regarding everything from misspelling of client names to pricing errors and accounting mistakes.
2. Punctuality seems to be a given for older workers. Most of them look forward to going to work each day, so they're likely to arrive on time and be ready to work.
3. Honesty is common among older workers, whose values as a group include personal integrity and a devotion to the truth.
4. Detail-oriented, focused and attentive workers add an intangible value that rubs off on all employees and can save thousands of dollars.
5. Good listeners make great employees because they're easier to train--older employees only have to be told once what to do.
6. Pride in a job well done has become an increasingly rare commodity among younger employees. Older employees are more willingly to stay later to get a job done because of their sense of pride in the final product.
7. Organizational skills among older workers mean employers who hire them are less likely to be a part of this startling statistic: More than a million man hours are lost each year simply due to workplace disorganization.
8. Efficiency and the confidence to share their recommendations and ideas make older workers ideal employees. Their years of experience in the workplace give them a superior understanding of how jobs can be done more efficiently, which saves money.
9. Maturity comes from years of life and work experience and makes for workers who get less "rattled" when problems occur.
10. Setting an example is an intangible value many business owners appreciate. Older workers make excellent mentors and role models.
11. Communication skills--knowing when and how to communicate--evolve through years of experience. Older workers know how to diplomatically convey their ideas to customers and management.
12. Reduced labor costs are a huge benefit when hiring older workers. Many have insurance plans from prior employers or an additional source of income. They understand that working for a company can be about much more than just collecting a paycheck.
And if you are a younger worker, consider developing these attributes and attitudes for yourself. They will make you a much more sought after employee.
By Joe Fairchild - Joe who writes for Nexxt, has a strong background in employee training and customer service. Semi-retired, he continues working in the hospitality industry for the customer interaction and travel discounts. A veteran financial advisor and public speaker, he delights in helping others find their path and achieve their goals. Read more of his blogs at HospitalityJobsiteBlog.com.