Here's a surprise. The fastest growing age group in the workforce these days is NOT Millennials, and it's not up-and-coming Gen Z.
It’s people over 65.
Bunches of Boomers
Right now, never-retirees are increasing their numbers at work by 5% to 6% each year. So, do the math. How many Baby Boomers will be working side-by-side with young folks in your organization by 2024, when their growth will level off? Bunches.
Fewer than a quarter of Americans over 65 can afford to retire. This stage of life is so new that we don’t even have a name for it yet. Never-retirees? Geri-actives? Walking age-discrimination lawsuits? Clearly, we have a situation here.
Naturally, Boomers who can't retire (or don't want to) tend ot clutch their jobs to their chests and hide out from those incredibly capable Millennials wandering the halls in search of "knowledge transfer."
Boomer to self: "Let me get this straight. I’m supposed to teach somebody my job so he can have my job? I’m just not feeling it."
Making Mentors of Us All
Here’s what I'm seeing in my work. Smart employers are taking the fear factor out of mentoring by creating vibrant cross-mentoring programs where everybody is both mentee and mentor. And those same companies are paying as much attention to the career paths of senior talent as they are to emerging talent.
One of my clients worked with Boomers in an aging department to build roles into their job descriptions such as trouble-shooter, subject area specialist or—wait for it—mentor, with bonuses tied to how far mentees go. Show me a Boomer who has a chance to learn something new and can see a secure career path ahead, and I’ll show you an enthusiastic colleague.
4th Quarter Careers
Boomers are here to stay for a while longer, and they must keep learning and contributing. That’s why I'm introducing 4th Quarter Careers, training that insures Boomers stay in the loop with their multi-generational teams, become interns and mentors at the same time, and develop a tech-savvy mindset so they approach new technology with insight and confidence.
Boomers want to mentor. But they're not crazy. We have to make it work for them.
Wondering where to start? Contact me about 4th Quarter Career programs for leaders and Boomers.
Amy Lynch, Generational Speaker | @AmyLynchGenEdge
Let's Talk: 615-944-6140
President of Generational Edge, Amy Lynch has written and spoken about the generations for 15 years. She has spoken to 100s of groups from MTV and Comcast to Boeing, J&J and the staff of the U.S. Senate. Amy has been quoted in national publications, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune and NBC Evening News, among others.