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Please view this in Slide Show mode. A. 20-minute lesson. to discourage biased . behaviors and . attitudes towards . elderly customers. Welcome. Welcome!

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A

20-minute lesson

to discourage biased

behaviors and

attitudes towards

elderly customers


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Welcome

Welcome!

This lesson introduces you to the topic of age discrimination, or ageism. Complaints about the treatment of elderly customers of Millard’s Department stores are increasing. In order to address this problem we are asking all employees to take part in this 20-minute training.

You will be asked to share your thoughts and ideas on how to reduce discriminatory behavior towards the elderly. At the end of this lesson we ask you to submit two ideas to improve customer relations with the elderly. All ideas will be judged by a panel of three individuals, with the top three ideas receiving a bonus of $500 each.

Sincerely,

Burt Millard, PresidentMillard’s Department Stores

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Instructions

InstructionsUsing this lesson is easy. Anytime you want to skip around, click the menu items on the side panel.

To move sequentially through the lesson, click the next button at the bottom of this screen.

To figure out how many more slides you need to read, check these numbers.

When you see the brainwork icon below, this is your signal to stop and provide answers.

You must type in answers when asked. When satisfied with your answer, click the Done button. Clicking Done will store your answer in a file that will later be sent you your supervisor. You cannot move to the next slide until you have clicked Done.

Brainwork Icon

A picture of the Done button.

D O N E

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Overview

You will start by reading a story of an elderly woman’s shopping experience.

You will learn that the root of the story's problem is age discrimination or ageism.

You will be given the opportunity to explore any potential biases you might have in three short tests.

You will review a brief history of prejudice and then explore a number of facts about the elderly consumer that can be integrated into the Millard culture.

At the end of the lesson you will use all of this information to make a creative suggestion about how Millards should work towards solving the ageism problem.

Overview

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A story

Last fall an elderly woman shopped in a department store to find clothing for an upcoming vacation. She stood for a while at the clothing rack trying to locate something she liked. While she searched, two sales clerks were talking and laughing nearby. Both sales clerks assumed that the woman was poor since was wearing an old dingy raincoat and carried a plastic bag that appeared to be her purse. Clearly the older woman didn’t seem to be the kind of person who could afford to be shopping in that department anyway. After 10 minutes a young couple walked in. One of the sales clerks immediately asked the couple if there was anything in particular that they were looking for. The other sales clerk walked to a different section of the store. Eventually the elderly woman found a number of clothing items she liked. These she piled

Story

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A story(continued)

10 inches deep onto her frail arm. As she walked towards the dressing room, several items trailed onto the floor. The salesclerk stopped her scolding loudly “You’ve got too many items for the dressing room.” The woman apologized meekly while the salesclerk pointed to a barely legible sign illuminated poorly under a dim light. “5 item limit per dressing room”While the woman dressed she didn’t receive help when she needed a change in the size of the clothes, nor did the sales clerk offer to exchange the old items for the ones she hadn’t yet tried on.The old woman left the store without purchasing anything. Instead she went home and ordered her clothing from a mail order catalog.

Story

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A story(continued)

When her son called her that evening she shared her story. The son guessed that his mother had worn her old raincoat and carried her money in her famous plastic bags. She had more than enough money, but because she had lived through the depression she would never abandon her value of thrift.

The next day the son went to work and called the two clerks who had failed to help his mother the day before into his office. He just happened to be the store manager. This is a true story, and regrettably it took place here, in Millard’s Department Store.

Story

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Discrimination defined

In the story of the elderly shopper, the salesperson demonstrated a number of discriminatory behaviors. Discriminatory behavior is behavior that assigns characteristics to people that are similar in some way. For example, “Old people are senile”. “Women are bad drivers”. These stereotypes are then generalized to all people that share the similarity. For example all old people or all women. Thus, individuals who may be old and non-senile, or individuals who are women and excellent drivers, are unfairly lumped into a stereotypical category. Biases, stereotypical thinking, and prejudice (all considered to mean the same thing in this lesson) take place because human minds like to simplify. It is much less work and thinking. The problem is that characteristics categorically assigned to groups may not be fair or reasonable.

The type of discrimination that this lesson is about is called ageism, or, discrimination against the elderly. Elderly is a relative term, but, typically the term is applied to people 65 years and older.

Ageism

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Based on the definition of discrimination onthe previous slide, which of these ways of thinking is NOT discriminatory

Ageism

  • Disliking an elderly customer because they were demanding and ungrateful.

  • Thinking most older people are unfriendly based on your experiences with an unfriendly neighbor.

  • Avoidance of elderly people because they make you feel uncomfortable.

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Statement A is NOT discriminatory

Discriminatory behavior is behavior that assigns characteristics to people that are similar in some way

Ageism

  • Disliking one elderly customer because they were demanding and ungrateful is not discriminatory towards all elderly.

  • Assigning a characteristic to a group of people based on limited evidence is discriminatory. Your elderly neighbors unfriendliness is not a reflection of all older people’s attitudes.

  • Avoiding all elderly people based on a feeling is discriminatory.

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Let’s test your understanding of discrimination in another way. Identify the discriminatory behavior and attitudes that took place in the opening story.

Ageism

Think of these things:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

What kinds of things did the salesperson do that indicated biased thinking?

Think of the things the salesperson didn’t do.

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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Compare way. Identify the discriminatory behavior and attitudes that took place in the opening story.

Did you include these statements?

Ageism

Assuming the woman was poor because she was old and had on a dingy raincoat (Old people are poor)

Shouting loudly as if the elderly woman was deaf (Old people are hard of hearing)

Implying the old woman couldn’t read the sign (Old people are less intelligent)

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  • We need to avoid ageist thinking. way. Identify the discriminatory behavior and attitudes that took place in the opening story. Biased thinking about the elderly has negative consequence. Consider these spending facts.

    • Sales from our customers over 65 years of age dropped 30% last year

    • Sales for other age groups neither increased nor decreased significantly

    • Mail order sales for the over 65 crowd is one of the fastest growing markets in the clothing industry

    • The majority of the elderly population in our community have incomes over $50,000 per year.

  • What does this mean for Millard’s Department stores? On the next page you will be asked to share your thoughts.

Ageism

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What do these facts mean for Millards? way. Identify the discriminatory behavior and attitudes that took place in the opening story.

Ageism

Think of these things:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • Sales dropped 30% for people over 65yrs.

  • Sales same for other age groups.

  • Mail order sales are up nationally.

  • Elderly community have $50,000+ incomes.

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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Compare way. Identify the discriminatory behavior and attitudes that took place in the opening story.

Did you include these statements?

Ageism

Millard’s is losing money since sales to other age groups are constant and sales for the elderly population are declining.

There is increased competition from the mail order industry.

Millard’s could remain competitive by attracting and maintaining elderly customers who have the resources to increase our profits.

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Test 1 way. Identify the discriminatory behavior and attitudes that took place in the opening story.

You have learned what discrimination is and why it is harmful. Let’s see how discrimination free YOU are. Test 1 of 3.

Which group matches the statement below?

Test Yourself

Don’t hang up clothing after trying them on

Opinionated

Never satisfied and always complaining about clothing styles

Hang around the dressing rooms

They shop because they are bored and have nothing better to do

Forgetful of keys and credit cards when making purchases

Have more freedom than other people

Don’t act their age

Disrupt other customers by talking loudly

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

Old? Young?

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Most of the shopping characteristics on the previous slide could be assigned to either old or young populations. If you had a difficult time assigning “young” or “old” categories, your thinking is relatively bias-free at this point.

Let’s try another test.

Test Yourself

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Test 2 could be assigned to

Test 2 of 3. Take a minute and describe yourself as an elderly person.

Test Yourself

Think of these things:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • What will you be interested in?

  • What will you feel like?

  • What will you look like?

  • What will be important to you?

  • Who will your friends be?

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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Think about what you wrote. Were you biased in your responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

Test Yourself

Ask yourself:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • How many positive comments did you make?

  • How many negative comments did you make?

  • Did you have more positive than negative comments?

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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Test 3 responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

Test 3 of 3. Are any of these birthday cards offensive?

Test Yourself

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Are these offensive or funny? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.Inside of card …

Test Yourself

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Are these offensive or funny? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.Outside of card …

Test Yourself

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Are these offensive or funny? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.Inside of card …

Test Yourself

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ALL of these cards could be considered offensive: responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

Test Yourself

Your rocking chair is going to wear you out.

Your eyes are shot!

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  • How did you do? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

  • Did you assign a behavior to an entire age group?

  • Did your include more than one negative description of your “older” self?

  • Did you identify potentially offensive greeting card messages?

  • If you answered yes to any of the above, you might reconsider some of your ideas about the elderly.

  • Let’s turn now to the history of prejudice.

Test Yourself

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Where do people learn to discriminate and stereotype? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

We like to blame our youth obsessed media (movies, television, advertising …) for ageism. We wistfully yearn for the “good old days” when age was respected. To prove a point, ask yourself which of the following are true?

History

True False Puritans believed that age was considered a sign of favor

True False Puritans taught their youth to treat the elderly with respect

True False Henry David Thoreau said “I have lived some 30 years on this planet and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing and probably cannot teach me anything.”

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All of the statements were true! responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

  • The point made is that overtime, culture has moved to a disrespectful attitude towards the elderly. Gerontophobia, or fear of growing older, manifests itself in many ways.

  • Clothing is fashioned for younger body types.

  • Derogatory vocabulary is used to describe older people: “old fogey”, “codger” and “gaffer”.

  • Expressions such as “You are only as old as you feel” or “Age before beauty” (implying that age is not beautiful) are commonplace.

History

Codger?

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You’ve read a number of things responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.about ageism and have discovered where biased behavior originates and might be perpetuated.

One of the best ways to dispel biases, and change behaviors, is to look at the facts or data. In the following screens you will be asked to read a statement and think about whether that statement is true or false.

After thinking about your answer, you will compare what you think to what the data suggests to be true. Read these screens carefully. Each fact has some ideas about how we can make Millard’s more customer friendly.

Facts &Implications

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True or False? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

People who are older do not see or hear as well as they did when they were younger.

Facts &Implications

TRUE

FALSE

You must click True or False to move to the next screen

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Answer : TRUE responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

This is a correct statement:

People who are older do not see or hear as well as they did when they were younger.

Facts &Implications

All five senses tend to decline in old age.

Ideas for improving the shopping experienceMake sure the lighting is strong, particularly in areas where the elderly shop. Make sure signs are legible. Be sure print is in a large enough size to easily read. Play music softly to improve hearing social exchanges.

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True or False? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

A majority of the elderly population is mentally depressed.

Facts &Implications

TRUE

FALSE

You must click True or False to move to the next screen

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Answer : FALSE responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

This is the corrected statement:

A majority of the elderly population is NOT mentally depressed.

Facts &Implications

Research shows that the elderly population is not significantly more depressed than other age groups.

Ideas for improving the shopping experienceMaintain pleasant and friendly interactions with the elderly as you would with any other group of people. Avoid condescending behavior.

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True or False? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

Older people have less muscle mass than younger people.

Facts &Implications

TRUE

FALSE

You must click True or False to move to the next screen

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Answer : TRUE responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

This is a correct statement:

Older people have less muscle mass than younger people.

Facts &Implications

Physical strength declines with age.

Ideas for improving the shopping experienceIdea to improve shopping experience. Carry heavy items for the elderly. (Be sure to exercise judgment though. One elderly customer complained when a clerk insisted they carry his three pound purchase. The customer was physically fit and capable of carrying much heavier items.)Help the elderly find clothing lines that are flattering to the elderly physique. Avoid items with small buttons. Look for elastic, Velcro, and zippered openings.

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True or False? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

Learning new information tends to be slower for older people.

Facts &Implications

TRUE

FALSE

You must click True or False to move to the next screen

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Answer : TRUE responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

This is a correct statement:

Learning new information tends to be slower for older people.

Facts &Implications

Learning new information tends to be slower. However the decline in performance is usually due to variables other than age (unfamiliarity with content, illness, technology).

Ideas for improving the shopping experienceIntroduce new products with written materials that the elderly can read at their own pace. Be sure to exercise judgment. Many elderly maintain their intellectual abilities. With increased time they are likely to know more about a new technology than you do. If so, learn from them.

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True or False? responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

Population aging creates new business and career opportunities.

Facts &Implications

TRUE

FALSE

You must click True or False to move to the next screen

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Answer : TRUE responses? If you listed more negative characteristics of yourself when old, this may indicate a negative bias towards growing old.

This is a correct statement:

Population aging creates new business and career opportunities.

Facts &Implications

Not only is the percentage of people over 65 increasing, but increasing numbers of the elderly desire to work or volunteer work. In fact, a majority of older people want to continue some form of work.

Ideas for improving the shopping experienceOffer part-time and volunteer employment to people over 65. Not only will new employees appreciate the opportunity, they may also attract elderly customers.

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Up until now you have read quite a bit of information about discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

Think of these things:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • What main topics have been covered (look at menu)

  • What do these topics suggest for Millards?

Summary

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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Compare discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

Did you include these statements?

Ageism is rooted in cultural beliefs that are learned

Stereotypes result from the natural tendency of humans to categorize information to decrease the complexity of thought processes

There are many misconceptions about aging. Considering the facts about aging may improve customer relations.

Summary

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What can YOU do at Millards? discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

Based on the information you’ve received in this lesson, make TWO suggestions for improving the treatment of the elderly at Millards. Think of store policies or events that might make the older Millards customers feel welcome and appreciated.

We will assemble a panel of three judges to judge all suggestions. Three suggestions will be selected. Each suggestion will be award a $500 bonus.

The next two screens are sample suggestions to prompt your ideas.

Your Challenge

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A sample suggestion discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

Sponsor athletic activities.

Sponsor marathons for ages 65 – 70.

Sponsor mall walks.

Include refreshment tables with beverages and snacks that are pleasing to the elderly palate.

Your Challenge

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Another sample suggestion discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

Create a local newsletter featuring elderly in the community.

Use the newsletter to advertise products in which the elderly are likely to have interest.

Your Challenge

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Suggest your discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below first strategy to improve customer relations with Millard’s elderly customers.

Think of these things:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • Strategies to reduce bias towards elderly customers

  • Strategies to increase the positive shopping experience at Millards

Your Challenge

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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Suggest a discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below second strategy to improve customer relations with Millard’s elderly customers.

Think of these things:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • Strategies to reduce bias towards elderly customers

  • Strategies to increase the positive shopping experience at Millards

Your Challenge

Click Done when finished. You can not continue until you have clicked Done.

C L E A R

D O N E

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This is the end of the lesson. discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

Thank you for your participation. If you have any comments, positive or negative, please share them here.

Suggestions:

Type here

______________________________________________________________________

  • What did you like best about this lesson?

  • What do you like least about this lesson?

  • If you could change one thing, what would it be?

Your Challenge

C L E A R

D O N E

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The End discrimination. Take a minute to summarize the key information below

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