Ten thousand Baby Boomers turn 65 every day—a trend that began in 2011 and will continue until 2030. [i]  This year almost 25% of workers in Canada will be 55 years or older and the same statistic will hold true for the USA by 2024. [ii]  In 2030 – only 11 years from now – the first millennials will start turning 50, and the first gen-Xers will turn 65.  At the end of 2030, the first boomers will begin turning 85, swelling the ranks of what is already the fastest growing age group in the US. [iii]  Employees old enough to retire now outnumber teenagers in the workforce for the first time since 1948. [iv]  “That giant sucking sound you will hear is all the knowledge being drained out of organizations by retirement and other forms of turnover.”[v]

The experts all agree that our aging workforce will result in several unavoidable realities:

  1. Retirements will soon skyrocket.
  2. A massive knowledge and talent gap will be created.
  3. Many older employees both want and need to be retained (not re-trained).
  4. Mentoring and development of younger workers needs to start yesterday.

This presents employers with both significant challenges, as well as new opportunities over the next 20 years.  On the bright side, there are many older workers who are still very interested in being employed well past their retirement years.

Older workers also bring some advantages that younger workers often lack.  Older employees tend to have lower turnover rates, more emotional maturity, better workplace loyalty, less need for supervision, and lower absenteeism rates.[vi]   Older workers can bring institutional knowledge and perspective, social maturity and stability, and can pass on critical knowledge or business relationships to younger workers.  Younger workers can bring a more collaborative mindset and can help older workers to become more digitally literate. [vii]

Younger workers, however, don’t always want managerial positions because they interfere with work-life balance. [viii]  The common complaint that Millennials “aren’t loyal” misunderstands who they are and what they’re looking for.  According to [a] Deloitte report, their top five priorities are:

  1. Work/life balance.
  2. Opportunity to progress as leaders.
  3. Flexible work arrangements.
  4. Sense of purpose.
  5. Professional development training programs. [ix]

The articles linked to below offer many tips, suggestions and insights for how employers should be planning to retain, re-employ and phase out older or retiring employees.  For example, “NASA’s phased retirement program allows retiring employees to work on a part-time basis in training and mentoring their replacements. The assignment ends when their proteges are able to fulfill their responsibilities. NASA also invites recent retirees back for similar purposes, highlighting how an alumni network can become a treasure trove of mentoring resources and possibilities.  Statistics show that mentoring can have myriad organizational benefits: It reduces turnover, increases job satisfaction, develops employee capabilities and demonstrates to employees that the organization is invested in them.” [x]

The problem is in ensuring an adequate number of replacements for particular occupations.  That may be a challenge because the population under 35 is seeing virtually no growth and the competition for them will be fierce. [xi]  Therefore, before one can even begin to coach or mentor replacements one must first determine which employees are even interested in being trained for such roles.

Organizations facing excessive talent losses should address several pressing questions: [xii]

  • How can they encourage valuable Boomer employees to postpone retirement?
  • How can they transfer Boomer knowledge, skills and experience to midcareer professionals?
  • How can they develop employees across all age groups?
  • How can they attract, engage and retain younger employees?

Speaking only with regard to skills, coaching, developing and mentoring, there are a number of ways that employers can ameliorate the fallout from this pending short-fall of talent.  One of those is to take advantage of the myriad of excellent assessment solutions that are available.  Many of these tools can also help both younger and older workers evaluate or re-focus their career paths.

The list below will help you in the process of identifying who’s ready and willing to advance to managerial roles, and to help you coach and develop those individuals to the level they’ll need to be at when assuming those responsibilities.  These are only a few of the many options available to employers.

If you’re interested in learning more about assessments and how they can help you personally or aid you in hiring, promoting or developing employees, please contact us.  Creative Organizational Design offers 100s of assessments for all kinds of applications.  We’d be happy to learn more about your needs and help you find the right solutions.

_____________________________________________________________

David Towler is President of Creative Organizational Design, a firm offering nearly 40 years of expertise specializing in employee assessments and which has over 2000 different product titles available. Creative Organizational Design has 100s of assessment tools designed to help employers screen out other people’s rejects, assess skills, aptitude, attitude and ‘fit’ within an organization. For more information about the options available and help selecting the best tools for your needs please contact us.  Please send comments about this article to dtowler@creativeorgdesign.com.

Tools For Career Exploration & Development

  1. Career Advancement Profile – Revised – Assess an individual’s preparedness for career advancement and measures initiative, confidence and adaptability skills.
  2. Career Development Report for Individual Contributors – The Career Development Report for Individual Contributors helps identify strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for career development.
  3. Career Development Report For Managers – The Career Development Report For Managers helps identify leadership style, strengths, weaknesses, find a new line of work and “sell” yourself.
  4. Career Motivation Profile – Use the Career Motivation Profile assesses employee work place motivation. Uncover what motivates people in order to create a thriving work environment.
  5. Career Priorities Profile 3rd Ed. – The Career Priorities Profile is a structured method for career exploration that empowers individuals to identify priorities and evaluate their career or job choices based on them.
  6. Jackson Career Explorer – The Jackson Career Explorer guides people toward satisfying and fulfilling careers and generates personalized career information.
  7. Work Personality Index-II © – Assesses candidate job-fit, development needs, career options and leadership potential.

 

Tools For Employee Development & Needs Identification

  1. Attentional Interpersonal Style Inventory (TAIS) – Use TAIS for coaching, team-working, leadership, management development and succession planning. Match concentration skills and interpersonal characteristics with performance.
  2. Career Development Report For Managers – The Career Development Report For Managers helps identify leadership style, strengths, weaknesses, find a new line of work and “sell” yourself.
  3. Competency Behaviour Inventory 360º – Use the Competency Behaviour Inventory 360º tool to identify and develop leaders with excellence, problem solving and team skills across 15 competencies for a wide variety of roles.
  4. Leadership Character Insight Assessment – The Leadership Character Insight Assessment measures leadership character and provides leaders and potential leaders with practical insights.
  5. Leadership Development Report – Use the Leadership Development Report to help provide insight into leaders’ work-oriented personality leadership character and help increase their overall effectiveness.
  6. Leadership Effectiveness Profile – Use the Leadership Effectiveness Profile to measure 8 core leadership competencies via 96 items, with either self or 360 degree feedback.
  7. Leadership Potential Assessment – The Leadership Potential Assessment will determine whether a person possesses the personality traits that characterize good leaders, and evaluates the type of techniques he or she would utilize if given a leadership position.
  8. Leadership Skills Profile – Use the Leadership Skills Profile for all your selection, development, succession planning, coaching, counseling and training needs.
  9. Management Skills and Styles Assessment – The Management Skills and Styles Assessment is an all-encompassing, in-depth assessment that evaluates a person’s managerial potential.
  10. Managerial Career Development Test – The Managerial Career Development test has been replaced with the three Managerial Personal Style Assessments for managerial career development.  See the Managerial Personal Style Assessment I – Managerial Personal Style Assessment II – Managerial Personal Style Assessment III
  11. Multidimensional Emotional Intelligence Assessment – Workplace – A 144-item, self-report, trait-based measure of emotional intelligence for leadership selection, development and job performance.
  12. Occupational Personality Questionnaire – Managerial/Professional Development – One’s perception of their preferred behavioral style at work and likely performance against important job competencies.
  13. Occupational Personality Questionnaire – Leadership Potential – Measures preferred behavioral style at work and likely performance against important job competencies.
  14. Strategic Leadership Type Indicator – Measures coaching, teaching, relating or delegating styles according to your subordinates.
  15. Supervisory Skills Inventory 2 – Measures key supervisory behaviors, including employee relations, motivation, planning and organization, problem solving, team building

 

Endnotes

[i] 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issueshttps://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx

[ii] The Alarming Future For An Aging Workforcehttps://www.forbes.com/sites/sheilacallaham/2019/02/22/the-alarming-future-for-an-aging-workforce/?sh=56f7ca5e1ba0

[iii] An ageing workforce isn’t a burden. It’s an opportunityhttps://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/an-aging-workforce-isnt-a-burden-its-an-opportunity/

[iv] An ageing workforce isn’t a burden. It’s an opportunity https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/an-aging-workforce-isnt-a-burden-its-an-opportunity/

[v] 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issueshttps://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx

[vi] The Aging Workforce in Canadahttps://www.ccohs.ca/products/posters/longdesc/aging_workforce.html

[vii] An ageing workforce isn’t a burden. It’s an opportunityhttps://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/an-aging-workforce-isnt-a-burden-its-an-opportunity/

[viii] 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issueshttps://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx

[ix] 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issueshttps://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx

[x] 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issueshttps://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx

[xi] Canada’s aging workforce revealedhttps://www.hcamag.com/ca/news/general/canadas-aging-workforce-revealed/174547

[xii] 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issueshttps://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx

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