1 September, 2017

Age discrimination affects the whole work community in a negative way

In December, we wrote about the discrimination that young women face while applying for work. We received responses where people talked about the age discrimination they have faced in their workplaces. Due to the responses received and in the spirit of our earlier blog, we wish to announce: seniority is not an obstacle for your career in Helka.

Even though age discrimination is illegal, it happens, both intentionally and non-intentionally. Any one of us can face it any point in our career. An employer obviously has the right to choose the people he or she sees fit for the job and not every rejection speaks of discrimination, but every workplace should pay attention to age discrimination. Besides being illegal and immoral, we feel that it is shortsighted when it comes to business, business culture and the society. We at Helka think that, especially in the hospitality industry, employers should spend more time making sure that their work community embraces people of all ages.

In Helka, there are people who have been working here for over two decades. Seniority brings not only experience, but also confidence and vision. No one is better at teaching new employees the warm hospitality we are known for than a person that has enthusiastically done this job for decades.

However, the hospitality industry is currently in a turning point. This industry is a place where people just stop by, and switch jobs as soon as standing all day in shifts doesn’t seem as interesting anymore. Digitalization will change the work done in hotels and restaurants for good.

During big changes, employers can easily think that only a certain background matters when it comes to recruitment. Some run irresponsible intern carousels, where the goal is not to find new talent, but rather to keep costs low. Others throw away applications from people over 35, thinking that people don’t learn new software at that age. We at Helka want to show, by example, that seniority is good for business.

Take digitalization, for example. The hospitality industry is one of the last industries that will be majorly affected by it. We have noticed, that a person’s attitude towards this digital advancement has nothing to do with their age, but rather with their willingness to learn something new. At Helka, there are digi-enthusiasts ranging from the just graduated to the soon-to-be pensioners. Younger employees might be faster and more innovative, but the employees who have more experience know what their customers need, want and value. Both viewpoints are needed to advance the industry without leaving the customers lost and confused.

We feel that we need to take care of our successors in this business. However, we also must take care of our older employees and ensure that they are active parts in changing our industry.

We at Helka believe, that a healthy work community consists of many types of people. A good team consists of experienced, idealistic, energetic, calm, stern, lenient, pedantic and quick-witted people. We need visionaries and people of action. These roles can’t be filled by a single person, so we need a diverse team to steer this industry where we want it to go. We need the freshness of the young and the experience and the vision provided by seniority.

Team Helka