Sweet retirement incentives for Baby Boomers


Did you know that nearly one-third of the entire US workforce is made up of Baby Boomers, those folks who are in their 50s to late 60s? While some employers are entirely focused on engaging a younger “hipper” workforce, too few are actively trying to engage their more seasoned employees. Why is engaging Baby Boomers critical to any organization? Baby Boomers have the skills, knowledge, and above average work ethics that can be harnessed for ultimate business success.

Advantages of the Baby Boomer Generation

Consider for a moment the value that older employees bring to the table. First, parents who valued a hard day’s work raised them. Baby Boomers are known for being loyal, preferring long term employment to short term assignments. Although they do tend to learn at a slightly different pace, they embrace digital communications and social media.

Mature workers have great interpersonal skills, love sharing their knowledge, and have a lot to offer younger generations of employees. They will often put their work tasks ahead of personal responsibilities. They are focused on their health and living longer, thanks to modern day medical advancements. They have pride in their work and in their professional image. Baby Boomers are also concerned with giving back to the communities they share with other employees, often taking the lead towards positive change.

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When you have a Baby Boomer on your team, you have someone who will go the extra mile for your organization. While they may be ultimately dreaming of retirement, many have chosen to stay employed well into their late 60s and even 70s. It’s important to keep these employees actively engaged in the goals of the company to give them a compass to follow.

Keeping Baby Boomers Engaged at Work

Fortunately, there are many ways to create a compensation strategy that can foster engagement for an older workforce. While your current compensation plan may be good, it may not be addressing the specific needs of your Baby Boomers. Here’s how to sweeten the pot with unique incentives.

  • Retirement Savings Support – One of the major concerns that all older workers have is whether or not they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire. Some may also have a lot of debt from buying a home, putting kids through college, and more. To help your Baby Boomers confidently plan their finances for retirement, now is the time to include a session with a financial planner. Help your employees put away as much as they can so they can meet their goals, with generous matching contributions, progressive salary increases, and performance bonuses.
  • Phased Retirement Plan – When asked about how they would like to retire, many Baby Boomers indicate they would like to gradually leave their former employer; not abruptly stop working full time. Phased retirement can be an incentive to allow your older workforce to choose a part time or per diem schedule once they get close to their targeted retirement date. Consider allowing flexible scheduling and telecommuting too, so they can ease into their retirement experience.
  • Focus on Wellness – Another key to keeping Baby Boomers engaged is to offer on-site wellness services and incentives. As they progress in age, their bodies may need a little extra attention in the form of low impact exercise, healthy foods and beverages, less stress, and regular health maintenance visits to a doctor. Give your older workforce access to discounted gym memberships, incentives to eat well, and a place to walk during their breaks.

To keep Baby Boomers engaged at work, think of low cost and unique perks that they can relate to. Conduct an annual survey of your entire workforce to discover incentives that they will look forward to.

Learn more about engaging different generations at work with this whitepaper: Compensation Challenges for a Multi-Generational Workforce

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11 Comments on "Sweet retirement incentives for Baby Boomers"

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James Shiers
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Boomers also add perspective derived from experience. This reduces emotional decision making. It helps if an employee has had FIRST HAND experience and witnessed the related outcomes. The wisdom derived from experience from mistakes paid by another’s dollar diminishes the likeliehood a mistake is repeated. It is a form of cheap insurance and risk management. In general boomers “care” – and you can’t buy that.

DE Hoffer
Guest

Every generation has something to learn from every other generation. I am both fascinated and challenged by the differences between boomers and subsequent younger generations. I have learned a lot from managing a generationally diverse team of individuals. Basically, I think it still comes down to treating each person as the unique person that they truly are. People science is way more difficult than rocket science!

Lisa Jacobson
Guest
I am so excited to read this article! Half of my career consulting practice consists of energetic, open-minded Baby Boomers who want to explore how they can make a new and different contribution to a community or an organization. For many Boomers but certainly not all, it is more about having purpose, than money. For others, it’s about trying something new and different. Often, it’s about something they’ve always cared about but have never had the time to invest. And for countless others, additional income is critical as The elderly parents of Boomers become frail and need extra care our… Read more »
Mike Smith
Guest

I am looking forward to my retirement plans in 8 months, but I especially appreciated the discussion about the phased retirement approach. For me, I need about 3 or 4 months to catch my breadth, and to get my house in order…but after that break, I would be more than willing to work 3 days a week. I also know that my current employer could use the help, especially from time to time on key issues. Good article.

lanik
Guest

I’m wondering what methodology would you use to recruit a boomer or retirees looking for part-time work? what media?

Karen Burns
Guest

Great article and insight! I would also like to develop some more creative ideas to recruit Boomers while challenging/ stimulating our existing Boomers already on Staff. What programs do we implement that engage the different age groups and provoke them to peak performance? Additionally, new programs for department managers to manage their ever changing diverse teams in terms of generational differences and similarities.

Adel Mahmoud
Guest

I’m one of the Baby boomers generation, working hard for my current employer for more than 19 years, he never asked for my retirement plans, never plans for retirement period to be gradually happens, but asked me when I plan to leave?

Adel Mahmoud
Guest

I’m one of the Baby boomers generation, working hard for my current employer for more than 19 years, he never asked for my retirement plans, never plans for retirement period to be gradually happens, but asked me when I plan to leave?

Ron Jamieson
Guest

Wellness programs have a positive impact on ALL employees. I addition to showing an employer cares about its employees’ welfare, wellness programs reduce absenteeism (especially due to illness) and I have to believe they improve productivity regardless of age. Programs can include things such as flu shots, subsidies for gym membership or participation in organized team sports as well as newsletters on nutrition, exercise and so on.

Kevin E.
Guest

I’m one of these Baby Boomers itching to work, long, hard & loyaly! I’ve got a whole lot to offer & share.

Lisa DeMartino
Guest

I loved the article. As a boomer I love teaching what I know to fresh, energetic HR talent and then letting them show me how to do it faster and better with technology!

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