Tag Archives: Baby Boomer

Staying Relevant

I just celebrated my birthday last week, so when I read Penelope Trunk’s article on  How to Remain Relevant When You’re Over 40  it hit me square between the eyes  – am I staying relevant???  

UGH!  If you have children, you’re much more exposed to the “latest and greatest” trends in technology, but have you thought about how that translates to your professional life?  Long gone are the days of finding one job and working there for the rest of your life. For survival’s sake, it’s incumbent upon to strive for relevancy every day. 

Trunk offered up some great tips on how to stay in the know and on top of your game.  Read the article and let me know what you think.

I’m certianly taking all of this to heart.

 

55 and Older have Gained the Most Jobs in this Recession

Golden Years

The Who famously sang they hoped they’d die before they got old. Clearly, they didn’t want a proper job.

So far in this recession, 6.6 million jobs have been lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. That wipes out six of 10 jobs created in the last, unusually jobless, economic upswing. Every age group has lost jobs.

Except, that is, the cohort aged 55 and over, which has gained nearly one million positions. What’s more, over-55s accounted for two-thirds of net jobs created in the upswing.

This has less to do with gray flair and more with a statistical wrinkle. The first of the postwar baby boomers hit official retirement age in 2011. That demographic bulge has been rolling through the age structure — in and out of the workplace — through this decade. According to Census Bureau estimates, the overall population age 55 to 64 grew by 9.4 million between July 2001 and July 2008. That isn’t dissimilar to the roughly eight million increase in the ranks of employed over-55s between November 2001 and now.

But the figures point to more than just a demographic change. Over the same time period, the proportion of over-55s in employment rose five percentage points, possibly reflecting a need to re-enter the job market after the bursting of a tech bubble and a housing bubble damaged their net worth.

Meanwhile, labor participation fell for every other age group. For those age 16 to 24, for example, the rate fell almost 10 percentage points, to under half, even as that population group expanded. A graying work force focusing on rebuilding its nest egg while the young struggle for entry doesn’t bode well for an economy dependent on sprightly consumers.

Original Source: Liam Denning

Economic Downturn Rattles Younger Workers While Older Employees Tough It Out

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Younger workers are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis, while older employees show greater resiliency in a recession-battered workplace where employers seek to do more with less, according to a new study by Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging & Work.  

The onset of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression has negatively altered perceptions about job security, supervisor support, job quality, inclusion and overall employee engagement in the workplace, according to the new report, “The Difference a Downturn Can Make,” part of the Center’s far-reaching Age & Generations Study. And as businesses strive to cut costs and increase productivity, American workers are reporting they are overloaded.

 Looking across different generations of workers, researchers found employees of all ages reporting a drop in employee engagement, a measure of how invested and enthusiastic employees are in their work. While employees overall report declining engagement, older workers in this study appear to be weathering the economic storm better than their younger peers.

 Workers among “Generation Y” — ages 26 and younger — report the greatest decrease in engagement. Those slightly older workers in “Generation X” — ages 27 to 42 — reported less of a decrease, while Baby Boomers and older “Traditionalists” — ages 43 or older — reported that their levels of engagement hardly changed at all.

 America’s older workers show all the signs of being more resilient in the face of threatening economic conditions, drawing on hard-earned experiences from the downturns of the past and a battle-tested perspective on the peaks and valleys of the market.

 “Some older workers have seen it all, and that gives them experiential resilience,” says Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, director of Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging & Work. “Younger workers just don’t have the depth of experience, which leaves them feeling less engaged in their jobs. But younger workers bring energy, enthusiasm, and idealism. In a workplace where older and younger employees work side-by-side, the give and take between young and old is a valuable resource employers should leverage to survive the downturn.”

 Researchers at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging & Work report other findings from the Age & Generations study that suggest: 

  • Perceptions of engagement, supervisor support, inclusion, and job quality declined after the onset of the economic downturn for employees who felt that their job security had decreased, but it stayed the same or only slightly declined for those whose job security had stayed the same or increased.
  • Those whose job security decreased or stayed the same experienced a slight increase in work overload after the onset of the economic downturn, whereas those whose job security increased experienced a slight decrease in work overload.
  • Those whose job security decreased perceived a slight decrease in team effectiveness after the onset of the economic downturn, whereas those whose job security increased experienced a slight increase in their perceptions of team effectiveness.
  • While younger workers felt the effectiveness of their work team as a whole dropped as their job security declined, older workers felt the effectiveness of their team held steady even though they too reported a decreased sense of job security. 

In tough economic times, the multi-generational American workplace requires employers to take cost-effective steps to support their workers. It isn’t enough for employees to be grateful for their jobs; according to one researcher, employers need to show they are grateful to the employees that keep them in business.

“Employee engagement can be greatly enhanced by simple and cost-efficient efforts,” adds Christina Matz-Costa, research associate at the Sloan Center and one of the study’s authors. “Providing strong training and development opportunities, encouraging work team inclusion, and promoting a culture of workplace flexibility and supervisor supportiveness are all effective strategies that can maintain or boost engagement.”

To download a PDF copy of the full report click here.

Friday Funnies: Video – Generational Mis-Understandings

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Engaging the 21st Century Multi-Generational Workforce

Group portrait

A brand new study just released last week from the MetLife Mature Market Institute details the most important factors for engaging different segments of the workforce. Titled “Engaging the 21st Century Multi-Generational Workforce”, the study indicates that employers can maximize the strength of their workforces and optimize worker productivity by using best practices, geared to the various generations. Identifying the values of the groups, the report reflects the “hot buttons” that are most effective in producing the desired motivation.

Conducted in partnership with Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging & Work, the study explores the drivers of engagement for employees of different ages, including demographic characteristics, factors related to the job, and work-team factors. The Institute defines “engagement” as “a positive, enthusiastic, and affective connection with work that motivates an employee to invest in getting the job done, not just ‘well’ but ‘with excellence'”.

Also noteworthy was the MetLife finding that older workers are more engaged than younger workers. For many business leaders, this information will come as no surprise. The research suggests that “focusing on the talent management of older individuals is important because they may best relate to the Baby Boomer customer base responsible for $3.8 trillion of annual spending in the US. They also found the highest levels of engagement among women, without elder care responsibilities, in good physical and mental health, with a positive self-perception and those having job security.

Three key findings indicate that employee engagement can be greatly enhanced by simple and cost-efficient efforts, including providing strong training and development opportunities, encouraging work team inclusion, offering customized benefits plans, and promoting a culture of workplace flexibility and supervisor supportiveness. None of these findings came as new revelations to us and we found the absence of life-work balance interesting, but not surprising, given the economic times.

Wise employers will update their assumptions about the generations, based on these findings and will pay particular attention to how they may enhance employee engagement through the quality of the employment experiences they offer.

Click here to download the study in a PDF format.

Click here to download the multi-generational workforce workbook.

Where Does Gen Y Want to Work?

Where Does Gen Y want to work? That is the question that inspired Janet Sun of Experience.com to poll 6700 Gen Y’rs to find the answer. I think as you see the results below there is really nothing to shocking although I would encourage you to read her write-up and thoughts on the results.

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65+ is the Fastest Growing Age Group Heading to Online Job Boards

The number of unique visitors 65 and older to career development Web sites grew 41 percent year-over-year, increasing from 2.5 million unique visitors in January 2008 to 3.6 million in January 2009. This was the largest increase year-over-year among people aged 18 and older (see Table 2).

“While 65 used to be considered the age when most people retired, we are seeing a trend towards later retirement or partial retirement. Much of this desire to stay employed longer can probably be attributed to the fact that people are living longer and feel the need to keep generating income and sock away more retirement savings, especially in light of the current economic climate and its effect on people’s nest eggs.” said Schilling.

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