Baby Boomers Valued in the Workplace

Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) are still some of the most motivated and driven members of the workforce, according to a survey by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry.

In the survey of global executives that looked at the role of Baby Boomers, 55% of executives stated Baby Boomers are willing to work longer hours than other generations, and are considered the second most productive generation after Gen X. Nearly one-third (31%) respondents felt Baby Boomers needed less feedback than Millennials or Gen X employees, demonstrating how Boomers are also seen as reliable, in addition to hardworking.

When asked more broadly about Baby Boomers in the workplace, more than half (54%) said that offering them the “opportunity to make an impact on the business” was the best way to retain Boomer talent. This far outstrips the ambition of other generations; with just over one-quarter (28%) of executives surveyed indicating that making an impact at work was the key motivator for Millennials, highlighting just how integral Baby Boomers are to businesses today. The survey also revealed that employers are eager to take advantage of the experience Baby Boomers have, with 50% considering ‘experience and expertise’ as the main reason for bringing them into a business.

The survey also reveals that the Great Recession has had an impact on the retirement plans of Baby Boomers. Eighty-one percent of executives surveyed now believe that Boomers will retire at least five years later than they had planned prior to the recession, with 31% saying they will retire 10 years later or more. In addition, 43% of respondents say Baby Boomers in their organization will retire at age 66 or older.

“While many in the Baby Boomer generation are working longer to provide more financial security after seeing their retirement account balances tumble during the Great Recession, their desire to extend their careers is not entirely financially motivated,” says Jeanne MacDonald, Futurestep President of Global Talent Acquisition Solutions. “What is often overlooked is the fact the majority of the people in this generation are highly motivated, enjoy what they do and they provide great experience and value within the global workforce.”