Most of the “generational” news in the human resources world focuses on Millennial: what Millennials are looking for in a job, how to recruit Millennials, the Millennial management style. As Millennials creep (or dart, depending on your industry) up the corporate ladder, however, there’s another side to this story, one that is a bit less flashy, perhaps, but just as compelling.
Every day, 10,000 people in the United States become eligible for retirement, a trend the Pew Research Center says it expects to continue until 2030. That’s an alarming statistic for many employers, who are feeling the squeeze as experienced workers are leaving faster than their employers can find and train new talent to take their places.
So what can employers do to minimize the effects of this inevitable brain drain?
Step 1: Create a work environment that encourages experienced workers to stick around.
For employers who are concerned about what will happen when their most experienced employees leave, it may make sense to make some changes to accommodate the needs of their aging workers in order to keep them around longer.
Michael S. North, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Psychology Department at Columbia University, highlights several best practices that can help employers adapt to the needs of its aging workforce:
Other suggestions include implementing a health or wellness program that promotes and supports healthy living, investing in training or retraining programs to ensure all of your employees stay current with changing techniques and technology, and allowing employees to work more flexible schedules.
Step 2: Facilitate the transfer of knowledge between experienced and newer workers
We aren’t calling it a potential “brain drain” for nothing. A real concern amongst employers is that when their older workers retire, the company will lose decades of knowledge and experience that they may never be able to get back, or that will take decades for new employees to learn.
The key to battling brain drain is to create an environment that easily facilitates the transfer of knowledge from experienced to novice employees. There are a few approaches employers may choose to take to accomplish this:
Both of these strategies not only allow younger workers to learn from experienced employees, but also provide opportunities for older workers to learn from their younger counterparts.
Step 3: Make sure you’re taking a balanced approach
Whatever strategies employers choose to use to minimize the effects of brain drain, they should be cautious about putting too much emphasis on employees’ ages, as this may result in employees feeling discriminated against. The last thing any employer wants is to face an age-related discrimination lawsuit.
G&A Partners, a leading provider of administrative and HR services, offers a lifeline to employers by delivering both strategic as well as tactical HR support. Our team includes dozens of experienced HR professionals who study and understand the ins and outs of human resources management and labor law compliance in order to provide our clients with proven solutions and expertise.
Learn how G&A Partners can help you optimize your workforce by calling 1-866-634-6713 to speak with an expert or visiting www.gnapartners.com/get-started to schedule a free business consultation.