They made the Beatles popular. They protested the Vietnam War. At different times, they provided a key demographic for sales of leisure suits and jackets with extreme shoulder pads. Now, they are getting ready for a new phase.
The Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce.
It may seem like the usual course of events. One generation departs, another comes in to take its place. But the Boomers represent a massive demographic group. Also, as the oldest, most experienced employees in many companies, they represent a significant reservoir of knowledge and wisdom.
However, the Boomer’s shift into retirement doesn’t have to lead to a seismic event at your company. There are preparations you can take to ease the transition. Here are six things you can do to get ready to say goodbye to your Boomer employees:
The definition of retirement keeps changing. People are working longer and longer. It can make it difficult to pinpoint just when workers might choose to say “goodbye.”
However, while you might not know the exact moment, the departure of your older employees becomes more likely with every passing day. Don’t get stuck wrongfooted when your Boomers begin to retire. Start making your transition plans now.
Review Your Talent Pool
Who do you have in house who can step in if your trusted Baby Boomer team members start to leave? That question should inform a review of your current staff.
Like a sports team has a backup for every position, just in case someone gets hurt, you should have someone who can take over when the expected retirement wave begins. If you don’t have the right talent in place now, you should consider recruiting early, so you don’t have to scramble when the retirements begin.
Once you’ve identified staff members who have the talent to take over for older employees, have them work directly with the Baby Boomers to learn the nuances of their positions. Pair your younger employees with older mentors, so that they can absorb some of the skills you’ll eventually lose when the Boomers retire.
Lock In Institutional Knowledge
Older employees come with decades of experience. They worked through events that younger employees don’t remember (or happened before they were even born).
You don’t want to leave lose that knowledge when retirement comes. Make the information formal. Talk to your Boomer employees. Have them write down the lessons they’ve learned and craft future policies with this information in mind.
Your younger employees might be in for a learning curve. If they are going to take over for the retiring Boomers, they will need to absorb new information and learn additional skills.
Provide resources to make this learning more successful. Don’t rely on an informal process. Set up training sessions and provide sufficient materials.
Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean a total and permanent goodbye. You can still tap into the deep well of experience your Boomer employees provide, even if they aren’t at the office every day.
Consider offering them contract work in retirement. Even a consulting agreement, which makes them available as needed, can help you make the transition go better.
Replacing the Boomers won’t be an easy task. But you don’t have to face it alone. An industry-leading recruiter, like SmartTalent, can provide you the talent you need to grow your business over the long term.
Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.