A wave of baby boomers took the country’s maternity wards by storm in the mid-forties, just after World War II, and each time this generation reached a collective milestone during the next sixty years, they stepped into systems and institutions unprepared to handle their vast numbers. Now this group is standing on the brink of retirement, and once again, despite ample warning, they’re surrounded by companies and systems that are woefully unprepared for their mass migration from the workplace to the spa and golf course.
Is your company ready to handle a rapid disappearance of boomer employees? If not, here are a few steps that can smooth the process and ease the transition.
Training and cross training
Make sure that when your boomer population leaves, they don’t take years and years of deep institutional knowledge with them. Pair boomers with younger employees and mentees, launch shadowing programs, and make sure senior boomers are involved in new employee training and acclimation where appropriate.
Map out a long term plan for each of your senior, executive, and difficult-to-staff positions. Find a way to prepare for vacancies in these positions by building a strong talent pipeline. Hire new candidates with long term needs in mind, groom them for ascension, and steer them along the path with careful coaching.
Retaining older workers on a consulting or temporary basis
Just because older worker reach retirement age doesn’t mean you need to abruptly sever all contact. Find flexible working arrangements or develop consulting contracts that satisfy both parties and allow your remaining staff to reach out to departed coworkers for answers and guidance.
Opening temporary and part time positions for retired workers
Not all older workers really want to step away from their professions—or from the workforce—altogether. Make room in your labor force for experienced, highly skilled boomers who are interested in a reduced weekly schedule.
According to survey data, the two assets employers miss most when boomers retire are 1.) advanced writing and communication skills and 2.) the professionalism and work ethic that experienced employees bring to the table. Find ways to replace both without missing a beat or undermining your bottom line. Reach out to the NC staffing experts at PSU for help.