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The Value of Baby Boomers in the Workforce

14 Feb. 2018 Posted by aadams

Janice Lieber, FEI EAP Counselor

More people are opting to continue working past the full retirement age of 66, when you can either collect Social Security or delay the benefit until 70 for a larger monthly payment. Fewer still have pensions to fall back on, or large 401(k) plans.

But some want to continue working because they enjoy the comradery with professional colleagues and the work they do. When individuals have done their job well and have years of experience, they can be wonderful mentors to new hires while helping acclimate younger staff to the various nuances of the workplace.

There have been recent efforts to dispel misperceptions about workers 66 years or older, and for good reason. Baby boomers are often loyal employees, staying with an organization for years and rarely contributing to the churn of turnover. This contributes to a dependability that is reinforced by the pride taken in a boomer’s work.

Years of experience allows senior employees to train quickly for new responsibilities while transferring both hard and soft skills to co-workers just beginning their careers. There are also the workplace basics at which baby boomers simply excel, including an ability to grasp new directives after a thorough explanation – thus avoiding the need for micromanagement – as well as a high regard for punctuality and happily putting in extra time and effort to complete a job (and do it well). Important, too, is a boomer’s understanding of workplace diplomacy and ability to interact civilly and productively with all levels of management.

In addition, hiring senior workers makes good business sense. Baby boomers often have other income and are embarking on a “second act” career, and so are willing to negotiate salaries because they are interested in the job and applying the skills they’ve developed in earnest, authentic ways. Drawing on a long career of workplace experience, boomers are more willing and capable of sharing ideas that can potentially save employers money. Their commitment to quality work and attention to detail are extremely valuable to organizations, as years of problem solving can address workplace challenges in innovative, original ways.

The next time your organization has an opening to fill, think about hiring an experienced older worker. You won’t be disappointed: The invaluable skills and experiences baby boomers provide can grow your workplace in amazing ways.


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