Preparing for the Coming Labor Pool Crisis

planning-for-retirementBaby Boomers, those 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, make up a third or more of America's work force.  Boomers fill many of the most skilled and senior jobs. And thanks to near-workaholic habits, they are among the most aggressive, creative and demanding workers on the market.  "Baby boomers are going to be retiring in droves starting with the end of this decade," says Arlene Dohm, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. "There are certain industries and professions that are going to be hit very hard."  Many employers are unprepared to lose the baby boomers from their workforce.  We recommend developing a well-defined strategy comprising the following key areas:

Succession Planning / Talent Management

  • Evaluate your current employees - where are your weak links?
  • Analyze turnover trends for patterns. Is turnover higher in certain departments or job positions?
  • Analyze the generational mix of your current workforce. CLICK HERE for a Generational Characteristics Table.
  • Determine the number of employees by age group. Predict (estimate) the rate of retirement for the next five years. Recognize the sensitivity of this issue. You may NOT discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm You may, however, evaluate your workforce to develop sound strategies.
  • Identify potential successors.

Effective Recruitment and Staff Development

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of your systems and processes. Identify opportunities to streamline and simplify processes to shorten the learning curve for new employees.
  • Identify your critical job positions. Include special job requirements, skills, educational requirements, etc. Develop learning curves for each position.
  • Develop a staffing backup plan for each job position (where possible). Initiate a program to cross-train employees.

Employee Satisfaction

  • Conduct an employee satisfaction survey.
  • Identify patterns, trends, and critical issues.
  • Take action to improve morale.

Competitive Compensation

  • Conduct a compensation survey.
  • Establish benchmark job positions for local and regional comparison.
  • Develop an action plan to remain competitive in your employee market.
  • Annually review and update your compensation plan.

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