I wish to call my boss Superman. He is the only person I know of who can proudly be described in that superlative.
The first party that I was invited to was to celebrate his 45th birthday. That was several years ago. In subsequent years, I became a permanent invitee to his birthday bash where the cake and food served were luscious and delicious. To my surprise, the annual celebration was always for his 45th birthday. Time stands still for him.
Out of curiosity I quizzed him about his ‘static age’. He pulled out his passport book that he always carries with him. He opened the laminated page and asked me to check. It showed his birth year as ‘45. I understood the message he wanted to convey. Age is only a state of mind.
In well-run companies, management is not worried about employees’ age. The emphasis is on productivity. The focus is on retaining workers who contribute to company bottom-lines. Older employees are respected and valued as corporate brain-trust.
In areas such as R&D, marketing and brand-building, an elderly employee’s expertise and experience are valued assets. They are encouraged to stay on and mentor juniors.
It is generally recognised that when technologists leave a company on statutory retirement age, the firm is losing a huge knowledge-base. Knowledge, like wine, has greater value as it matures in the barrels of experience.
Management should retain those who are keen to work and has a background of leadership and passion. Older employers are willing to work not only for money but also for intellectual satisfaction. They feel delighted when offered an environment of freedom and trust.
By KS Nayar
Full text in PTA October/November issue