As the saying goes, “old is gold”.
Baby boomers who are born between 1945 and 1964 are the older workers in the workforce. While many of them are nearing retirement, they have much to offer and can get the job done while avoiding the pitfalls that come with gaining that experience. The challenge for managers is to maximise the contributions they make before they leave.
Here are our tips on how to engage them more effectively at work:
1. Provide mentoring opportunities
Baby boomers have amassed a wealth of experience over the years and mentoring is a chance for them to share their knowledge and expertise with the younger co-workers. It gives them a chance to prove themselves and earns respect from others. Managers could initiate a mentoring scheme in the company and assign Baby Boomers as mentors to promising Generation X and Millennials workers. Involve these Baby Boomers in the selection of their mentees, identifying goals and establish criteria for success with the mentee. When the mentees achieve success in their goals, whether they are being promoted or completed a major project, be sure to recognise and applaud the efforts of their Baby Boomers mentors.
2. Create lateral transfer or growth opportunities
Even though baby boomers have scaled the corporate ladders in their heydays, most of them do not aspire to leadership roles in the organisation these days. Offering new assignments and learning opportunities in new work areas invite them to look at things from a new perspective and they will be excited to see how they can contribute their years of wisdom to a new domain. Asking Baby Boomers to recommit themselves to their jobs in new or creative ways will often recapture their hearts and egg them on to contribute till the day of retirement.
3. Apply the personal approach
Let baby boomers know that they are valued by the company. Acknowledge their experience by asking for advice. Consult them for major decisions by asking them “How would you recommend to proceed?” or “What would you have done in this situation?”. It boosts their morale and makes them feel important in contributing to their company.
4. Give public recognition
Most baby boomers have worked hard for all their lives and want to feel appreciated for their work. Like any generation, Baby Boomers like to be recognised for their achievements. Celebrate successes at work and shower them with attention and appreciation publicly. They feel motivated when they are valued for their efforts and seen by everyone as being a useful member of the organisation.
We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?
Let us know in the comments and please share this post with a friend/colleague if you enjoyed it!
“You don’t build a business – You build people – and then people build your business”~ Zig Ziglar When you are a startup...