There's a lot of talk about how to engage Millenials and Gen X out there, but little is being said about how to engage an aging workforce and the Boomers. They may be at the sunset of their careers, which actually makes their level of engagement even more important. It's interesting to me that we don't talk about this often, perhaps it's because we think they're set in their way and ready to ride out their glory years.
In fact, it's not true. Boomers are at the stage in their career where they're starting to think about the legacy they leave behind, the challenges they overcame and the success that they built. It may not be easy, but its the right time to tap into this and use it to your company's advantage. You can take some fairly simple steps to make this happen.
1. Set up a coaching community
2. Create rotational assignments
3. Build a knowledge sharing platform
4. Establish mentoring programs
You can appeal to one's ego and let them know that they will indeed leave behind a legacy, that the torch needs to be passed and you're asking them to rise up to one more challenge before they go.
The coaching community would provide Boomers with the opportunity to coach high potential future leaders. You can structure it so that they are able to provide on the ground advice and consultation. If done right, it can even be an avenue for them to stay on with the organization after retirement. For the rotational program, you should find younger employees who have the ability and aspiration for broader roles and move them under Boomers for short periods of time.
The knowledge-sharing platform is a way to capture the knowledge that your Boomers have and it enables them to continue to support and grow the company's legacy and culture. Lastly, you can create a formal mentoring program open to all employees that enable the Boomers to share their wisdom while simultaneously learning from others.
Even in the sunset years, the engaging your Boomers is a critical people strategy that can lead to longer term success.
This chart shows the quantity of various disposable products that could be purchased with an hour of minimum-wage pay. In 1979, the average minimum-wage worker in Canada earned $3.11 per hour, and in 2012 the average minimum-wage worker earns $9.99 per hour. So for example, in 1979, an hour of minimum-wage pay could have purchased 6.76 lbs. of apples at 1979's average price of $0.46 per lb., whereas in 2012 an hour of minimum-wage pay could purchase 6.24 lbs. of apples at today's average price of $1.60 per lb. Nominal food prices for 2012 are national averages determined by Statistics Canada. Nominal food prices for 1979 are calculated by deflating modern prices using consumer price indices for specific food items. Sources 2012 retail prices: Pintprice.com, GasBuddy.com, Audit Bureau of Circulations, Statistics Canada: Canada Food Stats 1979 retail prices: Audit Bureau of Circulations, Statistics Canada: Canada Food Stats
These charts show the breakdown of household consumer spending by category, as well as the total average income and spending for a Canadian family. To get an idea of how much consumption has increased, consider that in 1978, spending on consumer expenses other than food, shelter and clothing accounted for 39.3 per cent of family income; in 2010, it makes up 42.8 per cent of family income. "Spending" refers to consumer spending, which includes all annual expenditures except personal taxes, insurance payments, pensions, gifts and charitable contributions. "Income" refers to market income, which includes all non-government income, i.e. employment earnings, capital gains, savings interest, rent and pensions. Income and spending are weighted averages across unattached individuals and families of 2 or more. Income and spending are not adjusted for inflation, i.e. 1978 values are given in 1978 dollars and 2010 values are given in 2010 dollars. Sources Total consumer spending and spending breakdown: Statistics Canada: Survey of Household Expenditures, Statistics Canada: Family Expenditures Survey Income and income taxes: Statistics Canada: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, Statistics Canada: Survey of Consumer Finances
This chart shows how many hours of minimum-wage pay would need to be saved in order to afford various consumer goods. In 1979, the average minimum-wage worker in Canada earned $3.11 per hour, and in 2012 the average minimum-wage worker earns $9.99 per hour. So for example, a 19" colour TV cost $690 or 221 hours of 1979 minimum-wage pay; today a 19" colour TV costs $98 or 10 hours of 2012 minimum-wage pay. National average minimum wage is calculated using a population-weighted average of provincial minimum wages. Prices used are catalog prices on items considered to be in the mid- to low-price range for the product. The cost of a bachelor's degree refers to the average cost of a four-year program. 2012 retail prices: GasBuddy.com, Sears, Walmart, Chevrolet, Toyota, Future Shop, Statistics Canada: CANSIM database 1979 retail prices: ThePeopleHistory.com, TVHistory.tv, Statistics Canada: CANSIM database Minimum wage: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Statistics Canada
This chart shows what percentage of the population is disadvantaged in terms of education, income, overwork or unemployment. A family which lives in "low income" makes less than half of the median Canadian income, after taxes and basic household needs are taken into account. This is Statistics Canada's Low Income Measure (LIM). Where an age range is specified, the total population is taken to be the population of Canadians within that age range. The percentages of unemployed and overworked Canadians are determined with respect to the labour force, rather than the population as a whole. Individuals who are retired, studying or otherwise not seeking work are considered to be "not in the work force" rather than unemployed. Sources Educational attainment, working hours and unemployment: Statistics Canada: Labour Force Survey Low income: Statistics Canada: Persons in Low Income
The Huffington Post Canada and Abacus Data surveyed 1,004 Canadian millennials from across the country on a variety of issues. Here's what we found:
We asked 1,004 Canadian millennials to rank the biggest challenges facing their generation.
2% rank the decriminalization of marijuana as No. 1 or 2.
5% of millennials rank internet regulation and online privacy as one of their top two issues.
7% rank bullying as the first or second biggest challenge.
8% of millennials rank retirement security No. 1 or 2.
11% of millennials say access to quality health care is one of the generation's top two challenges
20% of millennials rank pollution and environmental protection as No. 1 or 2 of the biggest challenges faced by this generation.
20% say affordable housing is in the top two.
24% of millennials peg the cost of education as their first or second choice for the generation's biggest challenge.
27% say the cost of food, gas and consumer goods are in the top two.
32% of millennials chose "student debt and personal debt" as the first or second biggest challenge.
We asked 1,004 millennials between the ages of 18-30 what it takes to be a good Canadian citizen.
15% of millennials say it takes being active in political parties...
28% of millennials say donating money to charity makes a good citizen..
35% of millennials say that being active in social organizations is important to citizenship..
63% of millennials say being informed about current events is important..
64% of millennials say being able to fluently speak one official language is important..
74% of millennials say a good citizen is someone who always votes in elections.
81% of millennials say good citizens honestly pay their taxes.
43% of millennials rank the availability of quality jobs as their first or second choice.
We asked 1,004 Canadian millennials what were their generation's biggest health challenges
3% say pollution
4% say sexually transmitted infections
7% say disease
11% say poor nutrition
16% say obesity
17% say addiction
19% say mental health
26% say lack of physical activity
Some views from 1,004 Canadian millennials on marriage and family..
18% of millennials are in a common law relationship
66% of millennials are single
15% of millennials are married
63% of unmarried millennials say <strong>yes</strong> 13% say <strong>no</strong> 24% say they are <strong>unsure</strong>
65% of <strong>unmarried women</strong> say <strong>yes</strong> 13% say <strong>no</strong> 22% say they are <strong>unsure</strong>
61% of <strong>unmarried men</strong> say <strong>yes</strong> 13% say <strong>no</strong> 26% say they are <strong>unsure</strong>
33% agree 67% disagree
12% of millennials surveyed have children 88% do not
64% of millennials say yes 12% say no 24% are unsure
Huffington Post Canada's series on millennials, Asking Y. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/generation-y" target=blank>Visit it here</a>.
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