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What are the benefits of having Baby Boomers in your workplace

Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964, meaning many of them are approaching retirement age, or will be in the next few years.

Why should you focus on the Baby Boomers in your workplace?

Due to their age and being close to retirement, Baby Boomers can very easily be dismissed in the workplace - especially when it comes to career-progression opportunities and skill development.

You can find out more about how to manage a multigenerational workforce and their wellbeing needs by downloading our free employer’s guide today. 

But as people today are working well into their 70's , and some even older, Baby Boomers could well be part of the workforce for a number of years. Plus, thanks to their extensive life and work experience, Baby Boomers have some of the most valuable skills that your business needs.

What are the most valuable characteristics and skills of Baby Boomers?

1. Experience

Older employees have an abundance of life and work experience that provides them with emotional maturity, wisdom and a unique perspective. Plus, when challenging or high-pressured situations arise in the workplace, the chances are, they will have dealt with something similar before – and will have experienced what works and what doesn’t.

2. Leadership skills

Their extensive work experience also means that many of them hold senior positions and leadership roles – making them key assets your company relies on. As people now retire later, the average age of the UK non-executive director is rising – in fact it’s risen by 2.4 years in the last decade.

3. The ability to talk to people and communicate authentically 

According to research the younger generations today have grown up so reliant upon instant messaging, social media platforms and email that, for many of them, face-to-face and telephone communication is now completely out their comfort zone, according to research. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are more familiar and comfortable with traditional communication methods, and therefore better equipped for face-to-face workplace interactions and difficult conversations in the boardroom. 

4. Engagement and loyalty

Research has shown that Baby Boomers are the most engaged and loyal generation in the workforce – meaning they’re less likely to job-hop (unlike Millennials who are stereotypically known for this) and they’re likely to be emotionally invested in your company and its performance.

And research tells us that higher employee engagement results in better quality work and greater productivity.

It’s evident that this generation bring a range of valuable skills and characteristics to the workforce. In fact,
three quarters of UK employers are expecting to suffer a shortage of skills when the Baby Boomer generation retires.

But there are steps you can take to make sure you make the most of their knowledge skills while they’re still here, and embed them into your company, so your business performance doesn’t suffer when they do retire.

How do you get the most from your Baby Boomers before they retire?

1. Find out what motivates them

Despite being near retirement age, many of your Baby Boomers employees can still be eager to learn, staying stimulated and challenged for as long as possible – and keen to explore new opportunities and responsibility. In fact, 7 out of 10 Baby Boomers believe they don’t get enough learning or training opportunities from their employers.

Find out what they’d like to learn, and as long as it’s relevant to their job role, provide a personalised development plan that will help them achieve this. Provide them with specific training and new work projects and opportunities to enhance their skills. 

However, some of this group may be planning an imminent retirement, and may have less interest in development opportunities or learning new skills. They may simply be focused on doing their job efficiently so they can get home to their loved ones and have more time to relax.

Encourage an open and honest dialogue where you can both discuss their priorities and objectives. This will help you find appropriate ways to ensure they’re happy, engaged and motivated at work.

2. Make sure their knowledge is shared

Make sure your Baby Boomer employees have a voice in the workplace. Encourage their involvement in a range of departments, teams and projects so the whole company can benefit from their wisdom and learn from them.

3. Consider a mentoring programme

Consider introducing a mentoring programme, where employees from different age groups can connect and learn valuable skills from each other. Read our blog to discover the benefits of mentoring programmes and how they work. 

4. Create an age-inclusive company culture 

Modern day work socials can often revolve around after-work drinks and nights out. Whilst this can be a fun way of encouraging a work-life balance and peer bonding, it’s not always something older employees want, or can, take part in. Make sure you offer a range of social activities and company events that everybody can join in with – whether it’s a quiz, a lunch and learn or a lunchtime walking club. This way, all employees will feel included and valued – plus, they’ll develop stronger relationships and team dynamics.

Whilst Baby Boomers provide a whole range of unique and valuable skills to the workforce, every company needs a diverse mix of generations to truly thrive. Discover how to keep a multigenerational workforce healthy, happy and motivated with our free employer’s guide.

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