Dealing with older coworkers

Dealing with older coworkersLife in college is so much simple with classmates around and if you play any mischief you get punished by your teacher and everything gets solved so easily. However getting along with your coworkers in the corporate world most of whom who are older than you is a different game altogether. You will have to put in that extra effort to make sure that nothing really goes wrong that will spoil your image in the office.

Every organization has a set of policies. It is important that you follow those guidelines so that no one will be able to question you. An HR executive further explains, “Since fresh graduates have no real life experience in the corporate world it is good to be cautious in the initial days so that they do not hurt the sentiments of those who are already working in the organization. Most of the employees will be senior to them except the new campus hires. They should show due respect to everyone particularly to their older coworkers. This does not mean that they should submit to whatever their seniors are saying. If they feel that it is not acceptable they should put forth their viewpoints but of course not in an argumentative way. Their attitude and work behavior will ultimately depict their personality. So they have to be very careful about it.”

Your older colleagues are a storehouse of knowledge and experience. Approach them in a friendly way and you can learn a lot from them. It is important that you do not resort to any sort of annoying behavior with them. A retail sector employee who has a year’s experience says, “Many senior employees have the habit of dominating juniors particularly freshers. It is good to obey your older colleagues but it is not like a teacher student relationship in school. Most organizations especially in the IT sector and BPOs do not even have the practice of calling seniors as Sirs or Madams. They address each other by their names itself. Although it may be a little awkward for you initially, still you have to get used to it. Whenever you are with your older colleagues just try to be good listeners or at least act to be one. This will give them a good impression about you.”

Tackling your older coworkers is nothing complicated. It is all about applying your common sense and maintaining some basic etiquette. You can easily win them over by a friendly smile in your face and making them feel comfortable.


- Ranjita Chattopadhyay (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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