How Companies Can Retain Their Baby Boomer Employees

Many baby boomers in the workforce occupy positions of leadership, and when they leave, their expertise follows them. Before they are forced to replace the gap left in the workforce by baby boomers, employers must address it.

Millennial employee recruitment, management, and retention are hot topics right now, but savvy businesses are also working to keep their baby-boomer talent. 

According to research, one baby boomer in the United States retires every eight seconds. And although not all of them—due to their financial situation—can retire, enough of them can. 

Additionally, many baby boomers who have spent the last two to three decades in their present occupations are looking for ways to make money and pursue careers that they find more enjoyable.

Companies across a wide range of sectors are already seeing the need of preparing for boomer retention as a consequence. Organizations of all kinds are suffering from a significant “brain drain” caused by the retirement of the baby boomer generation, which will leave behind a wealth of experience and expertise.

So, what can businesses do, then, to retain their baby boomer employees? Here are a few strategies we’ve gathered: 

Promote part-time or flexible scheduling

Aliza Naiman, a manager at Olgam Life believes flexible scheduling can help. She states: “Many older employees want flexibility, whether it’s to pursue extracurricular activities or handle demands like caring for aging parents.

 This is a win-win situation in which workers who work fewer hours save the business money while also being wise enough to make the most of their limited time. Some managers may desire to change careers to more innovative or performance-based positions. 

Additionally, some companies allow seasoned workers greater freedom in how they use their working hours, such as Google’s “20% time” for engineers to concentrate on their own innovative ideas that might aid the company in expanding.” 

Include a breakdown by age group in polls of employee satisfaction

The majority of employee surveys are segmented by tenure, race, and gender but we don’t do it for age. 

What does the age demography indicate about the aspects of the business that [older employees] enjoy or dislike?

Encourage over-40s-only staff affinity groups

Rhett Stubbendeck, the CEO of LeverageRx shares: “Procter & Gamble Co., a historic leader in consumer products, has created “mastery groups” for seasoned workers to train junior staff members and highlight best practices in important departments including sales, R&D, and HR. 

In order to benefit from their expertise of prior triumphs and disappointments, other businesses are seeing the benefits of ensuring that project teams in areas like product development contain at least one veteran employee.” 

Examine Potential Partnerships

According to various research, baby boomers have shown to be very entrepreneurial throughout their careers.

Some believe that older entrepreneurs don’t typically start businesses out of retirement or unemployment – they are more likely to do so while working a job. 

In light of the Baby Boomers’ increasing labor market involvement and current predisposition to found businesses, company creation rates may increase in the future.

To capitalize on this trend, you may bring up post-retirement entrepreneurship in departure interviews and pre-retirement conversations with staff. Are there ways to use a partnership or joint operating agreement to keep retiring baby boomers employed?

Utilize mentoring initiatives to spread knowledge

According to Courtney Templin, president of JB Training Solutions in Chicago and author of Manager 3.0: A Millennial’s Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management, a mentor program is one of the finest ways to preserve your boomers’ expertise and experience. 

“Millennials are eager to learn and they love mentors and coaches,” she claims.

“Part-time consulting and coaching can be another choice for knowledge transfer,” Templin continues. Make sure the program’s rules and structure are crystal clear so that the new leaders can jump right in.

Multigenerational work teams and employee feedback on corporate culture, rules, processes, and software are two more approaches to exchanging knowledge.

Pairing them with a Mentor Who Is Younger

The fast-evolving technology intimidates some baby boomers, making them want to quit the industry because they feel “antiquated.” 

Smart businesses are putting in place “reverse mentor” programs where younger staff members train baby boomers utilizing social media, smartphone applications, and new technologies the business has introduced. 

This may prevent baby boomers who are considering retirement due to technological developments from doing so since they no longer feel ashamed of their slow adoption of new technologies.

Give them a different career choice

Sam Underwood, founder of SEO Toolbelt shares: “Many baby boomers want to quit because they are tired of the jobs they have had for (potentially) more than 30 years. 

To address this, many firms are providing job training opportunities so that baby boomers may pick up new skill sets, sometimes in completely unrelated sectors. 

This tried-and-true “career customization and training” approach may rekindle a boomer’s excitement and work happiness, which will motivate them to stay much longer.” 

Invest in the professional development of your employees

As companies struggle to find and keep brilliant workers in a tight labor market, many HR experts are seeing a fundamental change in the relationship between employers and employees. 

Since neglecting career development is a major contributor to employee churn, initiatives that focus on employee well-being, leadership development, and career management may improve productivity, foster loyalty, and lower absenteeism. 

Remove One-Size-Fits-All Reward Schemes

Percy Grunwald, owner of Compare Banks shares: “The failure of one-size-fits-all incentives and recognition programs has been repeatedly shown. 

Everyone is unique, and this includes their motivations. Normal differences exist between what a 24-year-old wants and what a 62-year-old employee wants.

Your front-line managers should be encouraged and given the authority to ascertain the needs of each of their staff members and then be given the freedom to meet those needs (within reason, of course). 

Across all generations, customized employee incentive programs have been shown to be effective!” 

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