Too Old to Work?

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In all the political machinations around 81-year-old President Biden, it makes you wonder: is he giving older people a bad name? He seems to have trouble walking at times, and we’ve all seen him falter recently when speaking….

Contrast him with other elderly statesman such as 87-year-old Warren Buffett (the 10th wealthiest person in the world and has been described as the greatest investor of all time). He is still very active as CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the third largest public company in the world, and he continues to travel the world lecturing.

Sheldon Adelson, at the age of 85, is Chairman and CEO of the casino hotel company Las Vegas Sands. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most powerful people in Sin City. He purchased the Sands Hotel in 1996 and has created more than 50 businesses throughout the course of his career. He is said to be one of the wealthiest men in in America, but still walks the floor every day in his Las Vegas casinos.

Rupert Murdoch, age 92, is the world’s most powerful media magnates, one of the fiftieth wealthiest people in the world, and recently just got engaged (again!). He has only just stepped down from being the Chairman of his companies, but still retains a senior role and is known in the business world for his aggressive and ruthless approach to business.

Historically, the community Club Industry has catered predominantly for the over 50s community. Through significant and ongoing developments in many Clubs, the industry is now targeting the family and food market with great success. 

However, many Club Boards and Committees are still administered by older directors who have given unparalleled voluntary service to their community Clubs. Many of our most successful Clubs have Boards and Committees with average ages well into the 60s and 70s, but they still do an amazing job.

The success of the community Club industry has created a shortage of staff, particularly since COVID, so some Clubs are starting to tap into the mature age workforce, of which there are thousands in a community.

If you’re wondering if tapping into a mature workforce is right for your business, we have listed the top reasons for employing older people in your venue:

Work Ethic and Reliability

Many older employees have a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility, which can lead to higher levels of reliability and commitment. They often have a proven track record of dedication and dependability.


Mentoring and Training

Older employees can serve as mentors to younger staff members, providing guidance and transferring valuable skills. Their ability to coach and train can help in the development of a more competent and capable workforce.


Stability and Loyalty

Older workers tend to stay with their employers longer, reducing turnover rates and the costs associated with hiring and training new employees. This stability can be beneficial for maintaining continuity in the workplace.


Diverse Perspectives

A multigenerational workforce brings diverse perspectives and ideas, fostering creativity and innovation. Older employees can offer different viewpoints that can lead to better problem-solving and decision-making.


Customer Relations

In certain industries, older employees may relate better to an older customer base, improving customer service and satisfaction. Their life experience can help in understanding and meeting the needs of older clients.


Experience and Expertise

Older workers often bring a wealth of experience and specialised knowledge that can be invaluable to a Club. Their expertise can enhance decision-making processes and overall business operations.


Workplace Culture

Including older workers in the team can contribute to a more inclusive and respectful workplace culture. Their presence can encourage a sense of community and mutual respect among employees of all ages.


Regulatory and Compliance Advantages

Employing a diverse age range can help companies meet certain regulatory requirements and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, which can enhance the company’s reputation and attractiveness to potential clients and employees.


Problem-Solving Skills

Older employees often possess strong problem-solving skills developed over years of facing various challenges in their careers. This ability can be crucial in navigating complex issues within the organisation.



Many older workers are interested in flexible or part-time work arrangements, which can provide companies with adaptable staffing solutions. This flexibility can be particularly useful in managing seasonal workloads or specific projects.


Whilst employers may have concerns about a mature worker’s ability to endure some of the more physical tasks required by hospitality workers, there is certainly no doubt that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Therefore, employing older people can thus contribute significantly to the overall success and resilience of a Club.


The perceived technology skill gap with mature aged employees can be overcome. Given older workers did not grow up with computers and the internet, they can be perceived as slower or more resistant to new technology. However, businesses who provide support for employees using new technology, versus allowing their staff to lag behind, have reported more successful employee outcomes. Similarly, those employers who work to empower all members of the team through various methods, such as pairing workers who may complement one another’s capabilities and skillsets, are setting their business up for long term success.


Given all the benefits of employing older people in the workforce, it’s safe to say…this author is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon!


About the Author

John Dickson is the founder and Executive Chairman of DWS Hospitality Specialists,. With over 40 years of senior management and consulting experience in the hospitality and leisure sectors, John specialises in the areas of strategic planning, corporate governance, business structure and workshop and training facilitation.

Learn more about John here, or please reach out to John if you would like to discuss any upcoming projects you need assistance with here.

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