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How to Lead Older Employees

Scenario: I’m 32 years old and the shift supervisor of a diverse team of 15-20, some much older and more experienced than myself.

I try to engage with my team based on his or her level of emotional intelligence and persona to ‘manipulate’ them in a way to achieve good outcomes for the business and team dynamics.

I try to be fair and consistent, but firm when I have to be.

Do you think this is a good approach?

Leading people who are older or who have more experience than you can be stressful for even the most experienced leaders.

Put simply – leadership is about winning a fan base in the first instance and persuading others to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it.

This is easier said than done.

The secret is to be influential by providing team members with purpose, motivation and direction. People shouldn’t question your leadership style if you have created an environment where people feel valued and heard. Few people will question the leader who is collaborative and engaging – they simply offer advice, opinions and wisdom.

If people are “questioning” your leadership, reflect on why that is.

Have you created a fan? Have you asked them in private to support you and help you become a better leader?

Think about this deeply and use it to guide your leadership style going forward.

Team – how would YOU handle this if you were leading employees older than yourself?

Share your experiences on LinkedIn here, or Instagram here.

Introducing “In Hindsight”

“In Hindsight” is a new series designed to develop reflective leaders. We’ll be highlighting real-life scenarios and outcomes from YOU; tell us your issue and how it was solved. We want to understand if the situation could have been dealt with better or differently, and exactly how other leaders would have approached the same issue.

If you’ve ever reflected on a scenario and wondered if you could have managed it better, this is your chance to find out!  Submit your scenario to

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