Impact of Retiring Workforce on Leadership Development
Baby boomers are at retirement age. Over the next 10 or so years, there is expected to be over 10,000 baby boomers reaching the retirement age of 65 every day in the US alone.
With these people reaching the retirement age, it leaves a lot of open spaces in the workforce. What are companies and corporations to do to fill these gaps? Just because the workforce leaves, doesn’t mean the work leaves, as well.
Where does this leave corporations when it comes to filling these positions? Here is a closer look at the impact it will have.
Baby Boomers in the Workforce
Baby boomers are getting older and they are leaving their jobs. What does this mean for your corporation? They are the senior staff and likely make a lot more money than their younger workers. They also work differently.
They are now to the point where they no longer feel the need to work longer hours and put in as much time. Plus, technology has allowed people to work remotely, which is what many people in that age bracket have taken advantage of.
It doesn’t mean that the workload lessens when people are retiring, it just means someone else will have to do it. But, the work itself may have changed, as well.
Training and Development
Once the baby boomers are out the door, you have Generation X and Millennials left to fill the void. Or do you? Many of these people are also looking at work differently and changing the workforce landscape.
Generation X is moving towards middle age now. They have children of their own and many may be caring for elderly parents. They are likely more interested in fewer hours and working remotely.
Some companies offer sabbaticals and unlimited leave for vacation or parental care. This is important to them as many of them are both working parents needing help with their full lives.
That leaves the Millennials. That means training and development outside of their education and experiences. That’s where you can connect your retiring workforce with the up and coming one.
Passing on Their Knowledge
While plenty of baby boomers are retiring, there are also those who are delaying their retirement. There are many who have not prepared for retirement with investments or retirement packages. This can be a great advantage for you and your company.
While millennials have education, training and some experience in the workforce, they often lack social skills. This is an entire generation who grew up with a screen in their face. Instant communication, information and gratification are all part and parcel of who they are and what they expect.
Utilizing your retiring workforce to train and educate the younger one will benefit both. The boomers have a parent and grandparent touch about them that may work to their advantage.
Training Gen Y
Communication is key to the “younger” generation. They communicate with each other through texts, emails, emojis and initials. How many times have you seen Gen Y out in a social setting all staring at their phones? A lot.
Breaking that is key. Keeping it all on a positive note, Providing a mentor is a great way to kick it all off. This can really help with their communication and soft skills. The boomer can see where they need help and guide them.
It allows younger people to talk openly and honestly and get great feedback. Having them meet regularly will increase their skills and their trust. There is no risk for the younger worker to speak candidly to their mentor.
This communication needs to extend to working and communicating with others. Younger people can be self-centered and they need to learn to work and communicate with people from all backgrounds, skill sets and ages. It’s a team.
Many people coming to the country have amazing training, education and skills. They are paramount in closing the gaps in the workforce between the aging and the younger.
Many of these people have all the necessary skills already and simply need a mentor and orientation into your corporation. They often have a stronger work ethic than younger people and remain with their jobs longer than younger people who want to travel or explore new avenues.
There are always going to be conflicts and issues arising between these generations. Resentments, different ideas and a changing workforce will always cause riffs.
Working on getting these generations to communicate and find a happy middle ground will benefit all. Older people can be very set in their ways and stuck doing things a certain way.
Introducing new ideas and methods can be delicate. Young people think their way is antiquated and redundant. Older works may find younger people pushy, lazy and acting above their station. Gen X may find it difficult to move up with boomers sticking around and millennials pushing their way through.
That is why putting them together to mentor, train and communicate will benefit your corporation. Encouraging people to learn from their mentors and the older generation can be very rewarding for all.
Your Strategy for Success
With the knowledge that many people may be retiring, you need to develop a plan to fill these gaps. Start developing your talent before there are massive gaps.
Look at where there will be gaps in skills and start developing those. Along with new job opportunities. This will help the newer workers develop new skills.
Get the older workers to interact with the newer ones. Let the older leaders and managers pass down their expertise. Creating mentorships helps both sides. Even if you don’t expect a mass exodus, start training the younger workers anyhow and get them ready to lead.
The actual retirement date may well be a moving target for many boomers. This could be due to financing for more personal reasons, like an empty nest or feeling like they are no longer relevant.
It’s best to plan ahead and to be prepared anyhow, and have your next generation of leaders on deck. When you’re thinking about leadership development for today’s learner, think about using a business simulation within leadership development. Business Simulations are extremely engaging and can dramatically shorten the learning curve. Best of all, business simulations within corporate training can drastically reduce the risk to the organization.