Beating the Impending Baby Boomer Bust

During an economic downturn, it's tempting to think that one of the most important career development tactics is to, well, keep your job at all costs. Similarly, hiring managers and business leaders may mistakenly think that employee retention isn't as important as it is during boomtime.

Well, consider this: A recent report issued by Next Generation Consulting indicates that by 2006, two workers -- baby boomers, all -- will be leaving the workforce for every new employee joining a company.

By 2008, we could very well face a shortage of 10 million workers in all industries and practices.

Since its inception Fast Company has kept its fingers on the pulse of employee retention. Next Generation's report contributes the following six practices that increase employee fulfillment and business performance:

  • Meaning Make the mission purposeful. Give employees something they can believe in -- something that involves a higher purpose.
  • Voice Give workers a say in the strategy of the business. Give them large degrees of discretion to pursue organizational goals.
  • Enrichment Provide opportunities for growth. Provide staff with a rich work and learning environment -- and the tools and support they need.
  • Membership Build bonds among workers and with the company. Develop rich interpersonal connections and a sense of belonging.
  • Appreciation Give everyone their fair share of reward and recognition.
  • Harmony Create and sustain work-life balance. Maintain a work environment that helps team members perform at their peak without compromising their personal priorities.

And according to Next Generation, companies that use these progressive people practices could decrease turnover by 50%, increase sales per employee 350%, and increase market value to book value of their shares by 300%. Seems the "soft stuff" is still strategic!

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2 Comments

  • PeanutGalleryBob

    "Well, consider this: A recent report issued by Next Generation Consulting indicates that by 2006, two workers -- baby boomers, all -- will be leaving the workforce for every new employee joining a company."

    Omg! Two whole workers?? How will the economy cope if two whole baby boomers leave!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Try reading the crap that you type, then maybe you'd see why no one is reading.

  • Chris Heuer

    This is a really important point that everyone in the workforce (from the ceo to the janitor to the free agent) needs to understand in establishing forward plans and goals.

    A great book that really adds an important perspective to this issue is The Roaring 2000's by Harry S. Dent http://www.harrydent.com/. He talks about where the opportunities will shift and what this means in a broader historical perspective.

    I would also reccomend by William Strauss, Neil Howe. An even broader historical perspective on how the generations will be evolving and what will change in the mass psychology.

    Chris Heuer
    Chief Idea Guy
    Conversal