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Sunday, March 28, 2010

WHAT BOOMERS WANT: Are You Preparing for Your Worker Shortage?

What Boomers Want with Terri Benincasa, M.A. Ed.M.

According to a report of a recently published joint study by the MetLife Foundation and think tank, Civic Ventures, a worker shortage could develop within 8 years as Baby Boomers choose retirement. There are just too few workers to replace them. That is, if companies don’t recognize now the need to prepare for for this shortage.

The report projects that by 2018 there will be 14.6 million new “non-farm” jobs, plus some new jobs in farming. However, barring any major change in immigration policy or labor force rates, there will be only around 9.6 million workers to fill those positions, leaving a gap of more than 5 million unfilled jobs.

What a difference a few years makes…

So, what’s a visionary leader to do? Heed this early warning and begin your planning for this starting in 2011. (Knowing and understanding early warning signs is part of being a visionary leader.)

  • Start by building your knowledge transition plan. This plan establishes knowledge, skill set transfer, and specific goals, objectives, and action plans throughout the company, and is best done with a professional consultant expert in generational issues. This plan also prepares your existing staff for the loss of your most knowledgeable and skilled employees, your Boomers, allowing the company to seamlessly fill those gaps as they begin to open. The ROI is quite impressive, seen in training costs saved over the next few years.

  • Keep in mind that although a shortage won’t materialize for years, the gradual loss of Boomers will take place throughout those years, along with the loss of their knowledge and skill-sets if you have no working transition plan. So it will serve you well while not struggling to find replacement employees.

  • Use the next 2 years to develop a best-practice recruitment and retention plan, and a healthy company culture (if you don’t as yet have one) -- from promoting leadership practices at all levels of the organizational chart to having a well-developed training program in place for new supervisors (so you can more readily promote from within) -- that gives you plenty of time to make both second nature prior to any shortage. These actions will put you eons ahead of your competition that didn’t take these action steps.

  • Plan on having a major strategic planning activity (a retreat preferably, and with staff representatives from all levels) no later than 2012, and build this projection and these on-going remedies provided here, into it.

It may seem that looking 8 years to the future is just not a priority right now, but let’s put some additional perspective on this. 2018 is when a shortage is projected to hit full swing which means it will start long before then. And since the best strategic plans for company growth look 5 years out, based on the recommendations above, that brings you to 2017, just in time to be proactively ready for it while your competition is busy reacting because they weren’t prepared.

For more information, please visit Terri's TNNW Bio.


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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