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Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis: A Slow Crawl to the Grave for Many Companies

By Kim Shepherd, CEO, Decision Toolbox

By now we all know that a large portion of baby boomers can’t afford to retire.  Largely due to their lack of planning and saving over the years, as well as to challenging economic circumstances, boomers are finding themselves with no choice but to remain in the workforce longer than past generations.  The effect of the baby boomer retirement crisis on the employment landscape is significant, and indeed is leading many traditional, cornerstone (Read: stodgy) companies slowly to the grave.

If your organization’s management and higher ups are all in their mid-high 50’s, you have an aging workforce.  The problem with companies in this situation is they are often not looking forward and identifying their future leaders – who are they grooming for when their aging leaders finally rotate out?  Our cornerstone companies need to get progressive, see the clogs in their pipes and plan for the future. How do they do this and avoid the inevitable “slow crawl”?  By attracting and grooming new Gen Y blood.  Many from the boomer generation see Gen Yers as snot-nosed, hedonistic little brats, but when they ask themselves…”did I do anything impressive by the time I turned 30?”…their answer is probably yes!  Gen Y offers a talent pool of 79 million people. These are our future leaders, and we must understand what motivates them to successfully attract and retain them within our organizations.  Decision Toolbox, a leading recruitment solutions provider and recognized thought leader on talent acquisition, has unique insight on attracting and retaining top-tier talent, including those in Gen Y…

Attracting and Retaining Gen Y Employees

Gen Yers live in a “Me, Inc.” world, seeing themselves as entrepreneurs who choose under who’s roof they will work and for how long.  Make your company an employer of choice for Gen Y by talking their language.  A few ideas to get you started:

  • Gen Y is motivated by bigger challenges. You must create new jobs under your roof so younger workers can grow while the aging pipes naturally clear.  No budget for new jobs? No problem, change existing job titles and compensation every 18-24 months to give the impression of movement, new development and challenge.
  • Gen Y values flexibility and work-life balance – give them the opportunity to work from a home office a few days a week.  Develop virtual water coolers, chat rooms and other tools to keep your virtual workers connected.
  • Gen Y cares about corporate culture and social issues, such as Green initiatives and other socially responsible programs.  They also embrace technology as part of corporate culture and expect its acceptance in the workplace, including communications via texting, blogging and the use of social media.
  • Gen Y expects feedback. Be sure to provide recognition and validation to your Gen Y workers. They are motivated by new challenges AND by being recognized for overcoming those challenges.

Ready or not, the aging workforce will eventually be forced to retire.  Stop your company’s slow crawl to the grave by planning ahead and injecting your workforce with your future leaders – speak the language of Gen Y and become an employer of choice.  More tips on attracting and retaining the Gen Y workforce.

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