The Aging of the Workforce: Are You Ready?

What will happen in your organization when a large percentage of your workforce decides to retire?  This current issue plagues many companies as the Baby Boomers begin leaving their companies for greener pastures of retirement.

Very few employers have strategized about this staffing dilemma and may find themselves dealing with any number of organizational issues.  Consider the following:

  • Lost knowledge.  Do you know the historical perspective of your product’s design?  Are any key customers loyal due to career-long relationships with your senior sales professionals?
  • Few strong succession candidates.  Who will take the places of your senior leaders when they retire?  Do you have a strong team to fill their shoes at their time of retirement?  Many organizations are now finding they have much work to do to prepare junior staff for key leadership roles.
  • Limited selection of qualified candidates.<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:=”” 10.0pt”=””>  When your retirement-eligible employees retire, are their skill-sets readily replaceable in today’s job market?  Organizations are finding that new graduates and new workforce entrants may not have the education or the experience to qualify them to productively handle these roles.
  • Overworked employees.  If you will likely experience difficulty in replacing your senior workers, then it is also likely your existing workforce will quickly become burned-out. They will work extra hours to cover their own jobs AND those of retirees who could not be replaced.

What are some of the strategies that organizations might use to overcome these challenging scenarios?

  • Anticipate staffing needs to avoid being caught unprepared.
  • Create strategies to retain/share key institutional knowledge.
  • Focus on development and training of junior staff.
  • Create new work options for potential retirees, such as part-time, job sharing, phased and rehearsal retirement.

The workforce is aging and becoming retirement-eligible.  Is your organization ready?

Cathy Fyock, CSP, SPHR, is Crescendo’s HR Strategist supporting business leaders by providing direction and strategy while energizing them to turn possibilities into reality. 

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