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Does the old man really earn too much money?

In today’s Sunday paper I read an article with the lurid title “The old man earns too much money”. This or something similar could be the common (of course never openly communicated) doctrine in companies. I had already written once on a related topic in my blogpost “Hiring old people”. Diversity, dear companies, does not only refer to gender or ethnicity. Diversity also relates to the requirement to have employees of different age cohorts in the organization. I like to write it again: most board members of our corporations would not be hired by their own companies – precisely because of their age!

The argument that the gap between productivity on the one hand and pay on the other is widening among older employees seems to come in handy. Only: the article in the FAS cites studies that once again show the blindness of studies from business administration that only refer to tangible aspects (e.g. unit costs). And thereby intangible aspects, about which one actually does not have to talk at all, because it is obvious that they make a difference, discreetly fall under the table. E.g. experience, prudence, positive contributions to the working atmosphere, etc.

If you try to count intangibles, which, as we know from ESG, is not easy, and sometimes opens the door to unit conversion induced subjectivity, then the picture looks different: then experienced, older employees are worth their money. Full stop. (And quite apart from that, the completely outdated pay and incentive systems in most companies need scrapping. They pretend to be modern at the front, but Frederick Winslow Taylor is still at work backstage).

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