While there is a huge focus on millennials and their impact on how we work, Baby Boomers were the original demographic that changed the job and consumer landscape, and today, still make up a large part of the U.S. workforce. Additionally, given the recent financial crisis, boomers are working well past traditional retirement years. However, according to the Gallup Organization’s State of the American Workplace Report, boomers are also the most disengaged segment of the workforce – and this costs corporate America almost $500 million a year.
So, what can be done to increase engagement of baby boomers in their work? Here are a few ideas from <a href=”http://www.talentmgt.com/articles/5-ways-to-foster-baby-boomer-engagement?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=Talent%20Management&utm_campaign=decnewsletter”>Talent Management</a>.
1. Celebrate Performance – While millennials aren’t as motivated by salary as they are by other factors like a company’s mission, values and work-life balance, rewarding Baby Boomers, whether through title changes, raises, etc. is a core way to keep them engaged with their work.
2. Provide Mentorship Opportunities – With the wealth of experience Boomers have collected over their careers, knowledge sharing is an opportunity to reconnect with their workplace and pass along advice to those who are just starting out or less advanced in their career. It will remind them what they love about their career and enable them to support a colleague’s growth.
3. Cut through the Clutter – Typically Boomers have robust lives outside of work, many with families and other obligations. With that said, it’s important for employers to communicate with their boomer workforce in an efficient manner. Mobile technology presents an opportunity to directly push information to a device – i.e., a phone or tablet – that most boomers have on them all the time.
4. Smaller Teams – Allowing employees to work in smaller teams can make them feel more productive and accountable for their work. In turn, they feel more engaged with their company.
5. Challenging Assignments – Baby boomers thrive on challenges as they have intense work ethics and are extremely goal-oriented. Keep Boomers engaged in the workplace by offering them challenging projects that call upon their vast wealth of experience and knowledge.
Baby boomers have changed the way we work. They are tremendous contributors to our businesses and ensuring that you have the right programs in place to connect, motivate and engage them is critical. Just because they are seasoned, does not mean that they aren’t tech-savvy and providing programs and technologies that take into account their busy lives, decades of experience and that recognize their accomplishments will go a long way in keeping them motivated.