Managers may be at their best in their 50s

Advancing age may play a role in managers' level of vitality.
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Aug 15, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

Managers demonstrate their highest levels of professional vitality in their 50s, reveals a new study conducted at the University of Haifa in Israel.

The advantages and disadvantages of taking on mature employees have been widely debated over the past few years, but this new study now shows that in terms of vitality, advancing age plays a significant role. A manager’s professional vitality is defined as the ability to carry out tasks with passion, vigor, and competence, and one who gains satisfaction from his or her work performance.

The study set out to examine which factors are related to professional vitality and whether that vitality interrelates with a manager’s career. The results show that the more vitality the managers demonstrate, the more ability they have to draw upon personal resources to succeed in their work and commitment to their work is enhanced. Professional vitality was also positively linked to the manager’s position in the company’s organizational hierarchy: the more vitality the manager demonstrates, the higher his organizational status. Vitality is also positively linked to career and life satisfaction. Plus, the higher the level of vitality, the less a manager considers leaving his or her place of work.

The researchers also examined whether age is linked to vitality and found the older the manager, the higher his or her professional vitality, reaching a peak at 50-59 and 57 being the highest point in the sample group. The manager’s vitality then begins to drop.

Researchers recommend tools for workers to improve their professional vitality that will also improve their satisfaction and will help cultivate resourceful and innovative workers. This indicates that an organization should make it a priority to provide such tools. Workers’ vitality fuels the success of an organization, and the fact that professional vitality is preserved and actually rises well into one’s 50s indicates that organizations investing in this aspect of the workplace will be able to benefit from productive workers for many years.