Why your company needs both Gen X and Boomers.

Author:Sutherland, Elyse
Position:Workforce CENTRAL - Echo boomers and baby boomers

Large waves of Baby Boomers are projected to retire over the next decade. As they exit the workforce, they will leave behind a significant hole in Michigan's workforce that needs to be filled.

So what does this mean for your company? You need the intellectual capital of your Baby Boomers but you also need the new ideas and energy of the next generation moving up into the workforce. In addition, you need to keep the next generation motivated and engaged at a time when Boomers may be holding some of the key positions in your company. The challenge becomes creating a talent strategy that supports your business now but allows for change, growth and future success.

Your talent strategy

The first step is to develop a talent strategy. Simply put, a talent strategy is how to get the right people, in the right positions, doing the right things. To begin, identify the future trends affecting your business. Questions that will help you determine these trends might be:

* In order to be successful in the future, what will our organization need to be good at?

* What will our executives/managers/staff need to be good at to be successful in this new environment?

Then ask your management team what positions will make a difference to the success of your organization. What skills, behaviors, knowledge and experience will be needed for those positions?

The next step involves assessing your current talent. Which positions need successors? Create a profile or competency model for the needed/required skills and behaviors, knowledge and experience. These assessments can be done internally by training managers to assess people. Outside professionals also can supplement this process by providing more objective assessments through testing and simulation-based behavior sampling.

Make room for Xers

Balancing the career growth needs of younger generations with the need to keep the experience of the Baby Boomers requires thoughtful planning and lots of savvy. For example, Gen Xers appreciate being involved in determining their future and will need to see that they have a path to higher-level positions. Make a point to discuss their career with them and help them create individualized...

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