Retaining Company Knowledge from The Babyboomer Workforce
By Barbara Jaworski
Boomers are once again looking towards retirement and Gen Xers and Ys are looking towards advancing their careers.
Suddenly, organizations faced a crisis. What crisis you may ask?
Look at your company’s senior leadership team. How old are they? They’re all likely in their 50s and early 60s, so many organizations are posed to experience the loss of their entire leadership teams in the next few years! To say nothing of dozens of long-term, extremely experienced staff.
The Towers Watson report found that workers of all ages now want security and stability.
In the past, Boomers advanced their careers by jumping from company to company, but younger workers want ‘career monogamy’ – to stay with one company and to advance within that company. However, recent corporate thinking has been “why invest in developing younger workers when they’re just going to move on in a year or two?” or “why train older workers when they’re only going to retire in five years?”
Organizations need to get on board with this shift in employee thinking and invest more in developing – and thus retaining — employees of all ages. Learning and development programs, mentoring opportunities and challenging career opportunities will go a long way to attracting and retaining the best and brightest to a company.
- That 30-something customer service rep who has, for the past five years, provided first-class support to clients and has an in-depth knowledge of their needs and what can and can’t be done for them.
- That 45 year old in marketing who’s been with the company for 10 years and possesses vital departmental or industry knowledge.
- That 55-year-old administrative assistant who’s got 30 years of service and knows the company inside out and backwards.