If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a Millennial. What’s more: most of your employees are probably Millennials, too. So it’s unlikely that you have a lot of contact with Baby Boomers at work—especially since approximately 10,000 reach retirement age every day, according to Barbara A. Friedberg’s Investopedia article titled “Are We in a Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis?”
However, despite the fact that Baby Boomers are leaving the traditional workforce in droves, if you’re a forward-thinking manager, you’re best advised to get to know this generation. Here’s why.
Return to the workforce
Baby Boomers are healthier than the generations before them, so they’re living longer—and the truth is that many of them aren’t ready to give up work yet. Some need to continue working due to financial pressures. Others simply enjoy work too much to retire. Either way, as a manager, you’re likely to see Baby Boomers applying for jobs—especially part-time, flexible, and/or telecommute jobs that allow them to earn money while still having a good work-life balance. At the same time, a significant number of retired professionals such as engineers, accountants, legal professionals, and others will be returning to the workplace as independent consultants. With their decades of industry knowledge, they can be invaluable additions to specialized projects.
An important group of consumers
The entire Baby Boomer generation comprises approximately 76 million people in the U.S. And even though they’re healthier and living longer than their parents and grandparents, they still have age- and health-related needs. This means they’re an important group of consumers who are especially interested in services and products that make their lives easier and support their health. So depending on what industry you’re in, you’ll need to understand what their pain points are and what will motivate them to purchase your products or services.
Get to know Baby Boomers
Clearly, Baby Boomers are a force to be reckoned with, both in the workplace and in the market place—so it can be helpful to get to know more about them. One way to quickly acquire a high-level, factual overview is to read demographic studies. For a more “human” impression, it’s a good idea to visit the AARP website and BabyBoomer-Magazine.com and read some of their articles. And of course, if you know any Baby Boomers yourself, it’s always a good idea to invest some time in talking with them about their lives.
Baby Boomers are likely to be an important part of the workforce and the market for the foreseeable future. If you invest some time in getting to know them now, you can benefit greatly from that knowledge in the upcoming years.
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