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With boomers heading into retirement, succession planning takes on a higher priority. HR experts can turn this challenge into an opportunity to secure a seat at the C-suite table by developing a …

With boomers heading into retirement, succession planning takes on a higher priority. HR experts can turn this challenge into an opportunity to secure a seat at the C-suite table by developing a boomer legacy process.

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  • Boomers are starting to retire. By 2020, in less than a decade, the number of boomers in the workforce will have decreased by 50%. The challenge for business leaders and HR experts is not just the increase in the number of positions that will be vacant, but the expertise that will go out the door with them.“Boomers on the Run” looks at the effects of demographic changes in the workplace, particularly at the manager and executive level, and how best to leverage these changes to effectively plan for, and address, this exodus.There are 4 major influences that affect the composition of the workforce:There are 4 distinct generations in the workforce – and a significant shift is underway reaching its peak by the year 2020.Today, 40% of senior positions are held by the generation known as the baby boomers – they lead the companies and the country – they hold a significant amount of expertise.Generation X and Y have entered the workforce and they have arrived with different preferences, working styles, and views of work, workplace environment and how they should be treated as employees.Less than 25% of businesses have a succession plan in place – a means to pass on their business and expertise.The pending exodus of the boomer cohort will not only exacerbate your battle in the ‘war for talent’ but it will significantly affect the leadership and management expertise in your company.Definitions – during this discussion we will reference, as the foundation for our theory about future leadership requirements and how to address them, the term generational cohorts. Generational cohorts are people born roughly at the same time, who as a consequence tend to have rather similar attitudes and expectations. They are often brought up with the same child rearing practices and have similar experiences as teenagers and young adults. This is a particularly sensitive period for acquiring a moral and political orientation. These shared experiences are termed ‘generational markers.’ These are important since they provide clues about how these generations will behave as they move into positions of decision making at work and have increasing access to resources.
  • What are the generations in the workplace today?Traditionalists born before 1947Boomers born between1947 and 1966Generation X born between 1966 and 1979Generation Y born between 1980 and 1995Boomers = 10.0 million (peaked in 1961)Generation X = 3.0 millionGeneration Y = 9.2 millionThe first boomer turned 65 in January of this year. Largest group has entered their 50’s. This means that by 2020 – the youngest boomers will be 56 years old but the majority will be 59; Gen X will be 41 years old and the youngest Generation Y will be 25 years old.
  • What will the workplace look like in less than 10 years?Traditionalists – some will still be around. Think about the people you know, or have heard about, that are in their 80’s and still working. So there will still be a few in the workforce when we hit 2020. Classic example is Warren Buffet. I have a new client – 75 years old and starting his 14th new business.Question to the audience - Does anyone know an employee or business owner over 70 years of age?There will be an obvious shift from Boomers to Gen X to Gen Y. Since the size of Gen X is so small compared to the large groups of Boomers and Gen Y, the Gen Y group will grow at twice the rate of Gen X and take over the dominant place at work. And a few of the younger, Digital Natives, or Generation Z will enter. Questions to Audience: (Presenter – note answers on Flipchart sheets).To which generation do you belong? What do you estimate to be the demographic makeup of your organization or the client organizations you serve? What do these demographic situations say to you about the future of your organization or your client organizations? What will be their greatest business challenge between now and 2020? What this workplace makeup says to us is:Boomers still dominate, not only the workforce in general, but also the senior positions in most organizations.Boomers have an accountability to mentor, coach, and develop the next generation of leaders. What will be their legacy and what can HR experts do to ensure this legacy is one that’s right for your business?How do we ensure the transfer of knowledge to the next generation occurs?
  • The challenge is clear – as Boomers exit from the workforce they will take their expertise with them unless we have in place a process to capture and transfer that expertise to the next generation. But further to the challenge of a potential expertise gap is the challenge of ensuring the boomer leaders take on the responsibility for transfer of their expertise. This not only takes effort, but it takes time and dollars. So we need to make sure we clearly identify which expertise, which knowledge needs to be retained and which knowledge will not be important in the future.We also have to ensure we clearly identify the capabilities and capacity for learning future incumbents need to have to be successful. We need the right ‘receivers’ in place so we can put in place the process to transfer the required knowledge.
  • Build a process to transfer knowledge – the expertise we need to lead our organization to success.Slide in after this statement is on the screen…Ask the audience – What would you say are some of the critical knowledge and skills your organization needs to keep in place to continue to service customers and remain competitive?Continue with the slide presentation.This is a key opportunity for Human Resources leaders and experts. This is the time for HR to step up and secure themselves a place at the executive table – become a strategic leaders of the organization and be perceived, and accepted, as a contributor to the business. Succession planning – should be part of the company culture. To successfully keep the expertise your organization needs, the culture and environment needs to be one that guarantees knowledge continuity planning.
  • When we look at the current situation, the pending expertise gap, we see the role of Human Resource Leaders to become more and more important, integral to the organization’s success.We recommend each organization – HR leaders and other members of their leadership teams – build a Boomer Legacy. Think about this as a demographic gift – it has fallen into your lap – take advantage of this demographic gift and mine the boomers expertise for knowledge continuity for your organization. Don’t wait until the Boomers leave your organization – it will then be too late!Create a legacy process to mine this expertise.
  • This is the perfect, or right, opportunity for HR experts to take the leadership role, to assume a business and strategic leadership role.In the majority of cases, your senior team isfrom the boomer generation, so they will expect to lead others in the same way they were led. This will not necessarily work. Current leaders will need to invest time and effort to fully understand the preferences and working styles of the various generations actively working in their company. This will provide them with important information when seeking to create an environment where current employees are retained and future employees are recruited.You will need to teach them about the differences, how to work with them, how to incorporate them into their role as leaders. To do this:Do your research – which roles are critical to maintain.Based on your investigation of trends for your business and talent generation – which knowledge needs to be retained and/or developed?Review the learning styles of the current role members and those that should succeed them. What are the differences and similarities?
  • And there are fairly significant differences in learning styles. Since we are talking here about capturing boomer expertise and knowledge and transferring it successfully to the next generation of leaders, we need to understand that there exist differences in learning styles and find ways to leverage these differences.Digital Immigrants – boomersDid not grow up with technology, learned about technologyDigital Natives – Gen YBorn into technological world, learned with technologyRote learning for boomers – memorization based on repetitionAnalogical learning for Gen Y – process of recognition, application of solution from known problem to new problem.Need to know who is your customer when seeking to transfer knowledge – who is the intended receiver of the knowledge?
  • Read the quote from the Human Capital Institute.To build the strategy, a considerable amount of prework needs to be done. Speak to each of the questions on the slide.Facilitate a discussion about what constitutes ‘lost knowledge’. Ask the audience – When we think about business strategy, it’s not just about the goals and the actions we need to take, it’s also about the associated costs of not taking the action. What do you feel would be the cost to your organization of expertise being ‘lost’ due to the exit of boomer leaders?Do you have knowledge of which positions in your organization, today, are most at risk?If this knowledge is lost, what will be the workforce threats to your management team?Prepare a risk assessment – threats to the organizational strategy and business plans if this knowledge is ‘lost’. Without this risk assessment, you will have difficulty raising the alarm with senior management. This is called a ‘Business Opportunity Statement’. Leave behind a BOS for them.
  • Assuming you have the ‘go ahead’ to minimize the risks – you should now build your customized Boomer Legacy Process.First of all, assemble your team, evaluate and review your competency and future requirements. Then select your successors and the knowledge transfer methodology best suited to your organization, to the business goals, to the successors that will need to be mentored or coached. Again, consider how the learner learns. Hand out a list of various knowledge transfer methods and facilitate a brief discussion about the list with the group.Have you used any of these methods? Which ones? For what purpose? What was the result?If you don’t have the resources to develop the strategy and process, use an external resource, an external coach. The key is to ensure the strategy, process, implementation plan, and evaluation tools are customized to your environment. Although sound leadership practices never go out of style, you will need to recognize and honour the leadership style of your current leaders and work with them, and their limitations, to develop the right process. After all, we are talking about the right people being developed by the right leaders.This is not just mentoring, this is a structured coaching approach with:SMART objectives and goals, specific career path stepsProject plans for implementation – milestones, accountabilities, check pointsRegular cross functional team measurement of achievement to milestonesContingency plans as leadership changes occur (through termination, exit, promotion, lateral moves, etc.)Mapping out the process with your cross functional team or your external resources is critical. Do not just develop and implement the program without a comprehensive process in which to incorporate the program. We are talking about change management to create an environment for producing the next generation – to hold on to the expertise in your business.Evaluating the results and reporting back to senior management – results achieved – keeps the project visible as each year you may need to revise the risk assessment and ‘resell’.
  • Leaders spend time annually with their colleagues building a strategic plan for the company, but oftentimes, the strategy does not include how to grow the next generation. We are talking about knowledge continuity planning – not just filling a role left vacant - but growing and developing the next group of leaders and experts in your organization. As we mentioned earlier, the current literature in this area suggests that less than 20% of leadership teams have spent time thinking strategically about handling the pending retirement boom, and the resulting loss of expertise crisis. (Ref: 2020 Workplace)The best way to ensure this knowledge continuity planning is taken seriously by your senior team is to:Do your research – show them what is at risk if they do not take this actionFigure out the critical skills your organization needs to retain and/or develop.Involve those you see as successors in the project – make them part of your team.
  • We reiterate, again, that this is HR opportunity to take a leadership position – HR is becoming integral to address the pending expertise gap – today – and prepare your organization for the next decade. The ‘war for talent’ will be upon your organization soon enough, as boomers (who may be staying due to economic reasons) will certainly leave within the next 5 - 8 years, in large numbers.The importance of HR leaders can not be exaggerated as you will need to influence your current leaders to take stock, learn new skills (how to mentor and coach), and begin the exciting process of developing the next generation of high performing employees.The Boomer Legacy can become a great one, with your direction and support.

Transcript

  • 1. Boomers on the Run BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedPlanning for Succession as Boomers Transitioninto Retirement 1
  • 2. Today (%) 4040 BM2B - Matching Talent to Need 25 3020 5 0 Traditionalists Boomers Gen X Gen Y 2
  • 3. 60 40 20 0 1 22 20 50 7 2020 (%) BM2B - Matching Talent to Need3
  • 4. So - the Challenge?Expertise and knowledge drain as boomers exitfrom the workforce. BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedWhich expertise and knowledge is critical and important toretain?Which expertise and knowledge is not required for yourbusiness to achieve its future goals? 4
  • 5. And - The Solution?Keep the expertise by transferring the knowledgeand skills. BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedHuman Resources needs to take a leadership rolein addressing the pending expertise gap. 5
  • 6. The Boomer Legacy (a demographic gift)• Boomer Leaders accountable.• Critical roles surfaced and documented. BM2B - Matching Talent to Need• Risk Assessment• Measures of Success (ROI) 6
  • 7. How Do You Start?First - Educate Yourself1. Conduct research BM2B - Matching Talent to Need2. Assess learning styles3. Investigate trends 7
  • 8. Learning Styles Digital Immigrants Digital NativesLinear acquisition of information Nonlinear (hyperlinked) logic of learningFocused mainly on facts and Focused more on learning how toknowledge acquisition learn BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedGuided learning Autonomous learningLearning in specified time periods Learning 24/7Face-to-face learning Interactive virtual learningLearning as duty Learning as funRote learning Analogical learning*Conference Board of Canada, Bridging the Gaps. 8
  • 9. Second– Build the Business Case • What knowledge and expertise needs to be transferred? BM2B - Matching Talent to Need • How does the intended receiver learn? • What is the timing? • What is the cost of ‘lost knowledge’? 9
  • 10. Third- Build the Boomer Legacy Process1. Establish your cross functional team.2. Evaluate current competency and future capability requirements. BM2B - Matching Talent to Need3. Select successors.4. Select knowledge transfer methodology.5. Build the project plan6. Implement with current and successors.7. Evaluate performance, measure and report.8. Reward and recognize. 10
  • 11. The Boomer Legacy ProcessFirst Steps 1. Do your research BM2B - Matching Talent to Need 2. Conduct your risk assessment 3. Establish your team. Start your planning process NOW! 11
  • 12. This is your ‘Demographic gift’. BM2B - Matching Talent to Need OPEN IT! 12
  • 13. Boomers on the Run BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedPlanning for Succession as Boomers Transitioninto Retirement 13