March 17th, 2020
Retirement may be a far vision for some of you, but for others, it’s several years out. Past the age of what we’ve all known to be 65, we’re now looking at 70, even 80 + years old for retirees. Baby boomers don’t all fall under the same age of retirement which means skilled and experienced talent are still working, as well as are looking for work.
From personal experience, my father who will graciously turn 70 in May is young at heart, active and loves ‘working’ now just as much as he did in his prime days when he was working full time. Specifically, in the trades where physical labour was common to see for many European immigrants.
If you talk to one of his friends, ‘retired life’ is much slower and is enjoyed by taking walks with their significant other, going for breakfast at the local diner on the weekend and ‘enjoying life’ as they say, where work is considered a thing of the past.
As much as our global workforce has evolved over the years and even much more significantly in the last 10 or so, a multi-generational workforce isn’t just a reality. Our economic climate and the rise of cost of living (as least here in Ontario) mean many are pushing retirement back a few or maybe several years out.
What that means is as much as millennials are very prominent in our workforce, we’re not completely transitioned from our baby boomers in the workforce.
According to this Globe and Mail article, at 65, more than half (53.5 percent) of senior men reported working in 2015, according to Statistics Canada, including 22.9 percent employed full time through the year. By comparison, 38.8 percent of senior women were working at age 65 in 2015, almost twice the level in 1995. As well, the proportion of females working at age 70 rose to 17.1 percent in 2015 from 6.4 percent in 1995.
The ripe old age of 65 is certainly not a one-size-fits-all and many are looking at retirement 5, 10 even 15 years out! So, it begs the question, what does this mean for your organization’s people strategy as it relates to existing workers, recruitment and succession planning?
I recognize it’s an important question touching on multiple strategies all tackling various aspects of talent. The more critical of them all is managing those who are still with you and may require the 3 R’s – re-skill, re-train and re-assess.
- Re-skill – as technology changes replace specific skills and even positions within your organization, how are you re-skilling your employees? This also includes business demands calling for newly created positions that can include new skills which will also call for re-training.
- Re-train – which employees need to be re-trained because of technology enhancements to their position, various responsibilities and/or perhaps other changes to your organization that affect their role?
- Re-assess – how else can you utilize your employees who are at the age of retirement? This isn’t to suggest forcing people to move jobs or displace them altogether if they’re quite content in the positions they’re in. It does suggest there’s an opportunity to review and re-assess what other responsibilities and skills can they AND you as the organization benefit from?
Retirement may suggest and even say, “you’ve put in your time, thank you for your efforts and contributions and we wish you well.” However, there’s a significant opportunity to leverage baby boomers as well as attract those who are still eager to utilize their best skills and strengths.
It’s up to you as an organization to recognize this as an opportunity and strategize on how to retain, manage and attract those who are more experienced.
I’d love to hear from you as always.
As part of your people strategy, how can you optimize your most experienced talent? What else might you consider in addition to reskilling and retraining your most valuable talent?
To your growth and success!