Demand for skilled workers is surpassing the need for capital across the country. Investing in employees is fast becoming an essential growth strategy for companies both locally and globally. So, what’s the problem?
A major shift is continuing in today’s workplace. From primarily a single generation of workers to 3! Older workers (let’s call them Baby-Boomers [born 1946-64]) are choosing to work longer than any generation in the last century. They are on the job while younger workers (Millennials [born 1982-2002]) are just finding their sea legs in the marketplace. These are the 2 largest groups of workers in the market. Oh, and don’t forget Generation X [born 1964-1982] sandwiched in between. This creates some interesting challenges for employers & managers.
The significant management problem in many organizations is: How to manage, motivate & mingle these 3 very with different populations with different sets of needs, concerns & expectations?
In a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch retirement study, 72 percent of pre-retirees, age 50 plus, say their ideal retirement includes work in some capacity. They remain on the job for a variety of reasons, both financial and personal. Management needs to recognize their decades of experience by both documenting their knowledge [becoming a learning organization] & developing mentoring programs where they can pass down their expertise to the 2 upcoming generations.
Millenials are generally more tech-savvy than the Boomers, with the Xers somewhere in-between. They can mentor upwards this technical know-how, perhaps in exchange for what they can gain from the 2 predecessor generations in marketplace exposure & expertise.
Offering a wide range of benefits tailored to your employees’ needs and preferences can help you build a stronger workforce and gain a lasting competitive edge. From paying down student debt and purchasing their first home, to supporting aging parents and easing into retirement, management must broaden the conversation to include financial matters well beyond simply encouraging people to take advantage of their 401(k).
The trend is clear. Employers looking to rethink and expand their benefits offerings for a multi-generational workforce are starting to look at benefits holistically, as part of a complete package, rather than in silos. This points to one of the most critical tests in the 3-generation workforce — taming health care expenses, while balancing the need to grow and maintain a competitive workforce causes us all to think & act strategically for macro, mutual benefit.
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