Nearly 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day,1 and many of them are retiring. In 1995 baby boomers made up 50% of America’s workforce. That figure is estimated to drop to 10% in the next six years.2 Have you considered how this will impact you? While this drastic change represents a massive opportunity for workers, it may present a challenge for businesses.
The Population Gap
The logical solution to retiring baby boomers is hiring and training replacements, just like you have been doing for years. But, this is going to be significantly more difficult in the coming years. According to polls by Gallop and Pew Research, there are 44 million Baby Boomers ready to leave the workforce with only 10 million Gen Xers available to replace them.3
There are also 53 million Millennials in the workforce.3 They don’t yet have the skills based on years of experience as compared to the older generations, but the task of replacing the baby boomers is likely going to fall on their shoulders. Companies with open-door hierarchies are going to be at a considerable advantage when it comes to filling positions.
Years of Experience
Your most experienced employees are likely baby boomers. They have helped you grow and adapt to the changes in your industry over the last 20-30 years. What is going to happen when that experience walks out the door? Do you have training systems in place to ensure your mid-level employees are ready to fill those positions?
The population gap outlined above means that finding outside individuals to replace retirees will soon be more challenging than ever before. Take a long look at your workforce. Think of who would fill your baby boomer’s positions if they retired tomorrow. Now ask yourself if those individuals have the skills and expertise for a seamless transition.
If you are sitting back thinking you don’t have enough baby boomers on your staff for this to impact you, think again. When high-level positions open up elsewhere are your Gen Xers going to stay in their current mid-level positions, or are they going to head out in search of other opportunities?
The best thing you can do to prepare your company for the retirement of the baby boomer generation is to invest in your current workforce. Encourage your Baby Boomers to spend their time training younger workers. Create a work environment that your employees will love.
Have the hard conversations with your employees now. Understand their career goals and find out what they like and dislike about working for your company. Then find ways to make your office the place they want to stay. Employee retention is essential in today’s environment.
Fostering a work environment that people love and helping your employees learn the skills they need to succeed, gives your business its best chance of smooth sailing through the retirement boom. A large part of an attractive work environment is competitive pay and benefits. Give us a call today to review your employer benefit packages so we can assess how they fit into your plan.
1Forbes. Social Security Feels Pinch As Baby Boomers Clock Out For Good. https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/06/21/social-security-feels-pinch-as-baby-boomers-clock-out-for-good/#783cc4d24995
2 ArmadaCare The Impact of Retiring Baby Boomers. https://armadacare.com/the-impact-of-retiring-baby-boomers/
3 Monster. Bye Bye Boomers: Who Will Fill your Workforce Gap? https://hiring.monster.com/employer-resources/recruiting-strategies/workforce-planning/baby-boomer-workforce-gap/