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.“Who is Developing our Future Leaders” looks at the effects of demographic changes in the workplace, particularly at the manager and executive level, and intergenerational leadership practices required to grow the next group of leaders, no matter the size of the business.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.Recent studies with small business owners, those employing less than 100 employees, representing the majority of employers in Canada – less than 25% have a succession plan in place – a means to pass on their business and expertise.We suggest this intergenerational workplace has significant implications for the development of future leaders.
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 how can we ensure it is a leadership legacy?Our position is that if you don’t know the makeup of your organization – particularly, the current leadership generation – you will miss a tremendous opportunity to grow the leadership competency of the future. Today, more than ever, Human Resources can take a leadership role in addressing the pending expertise gap that will exist when the Boomers exit the workforce in large numbers.
When we look at the current situation, the pending expertise gap, the shift to a more community-focused workplace (driven by the formative influences on Generation Y and Z), 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 Leader Legacy. Think about this as a demographic gift – it has fallen into your lap – take advantage of this demographic gift (leadership legacy) and mine the boomers expertise for future leaders in your organization. Don’t wait until the Boomers leave your organization – it will then be too late!Create a leadership process to mine this expertise.
How do you create and implement this process? By applying basic and sound leadership practices to provide you with the tools you need to take on this leadership role in your organization or with your client organizations.Develop yourselfStrong leaders recognize that for others in the organization to grow and develop, they need to grow and developSure sign of this is to seek feedback on their own performanceSurround themselves with other strong leaders who will challenge their direction, constructively, and work with them to achieve the goalsReflection is a key skill and seeking mentors a key actionDevelop a strategyGrowth and development of the organization, its infrastructureWhat is the composition of the workforce – demographics, expertise, competence, capability?What types of tools are needed to attract the right people?Develop the leaders who will develop the next generation of leadersTake responsibility and accept accountability for sustainability of your organizationTraining and development, performance management, career progression and paths….
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, the senior leaders and managers will be from 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. Your ‘leadership’ philosophy, based in change management concepts, will set the stage and provide the tools the boomer leaders will need to develop future leaders and keep expertise within your organization.
Generational differences begin with formative events in each generation’s growth and development.Questions to Audience (note on Flipchart sheet):What would be the major environmental occurrence that would be considered formative for each of the four generations?What characteristics might be shaped by these different occurrences?Significant shift from Traditionalists to Generation Y is the shift from company-focused loyalty to community loyalty.
There are different formative life experiences which have shaped each generation. These environments have shaped their specific preferences, expectations, beliefs, and most importantly, working style.Significant shift from Traditionalists to Generation Y is living to work (sacrificing for others) to integrating work and personal life together as one.
Although expectations and preferences are different, these does not mean that core values are different. Boomers spent many years with same employer – loyalty to the company was prizedBoomers see Gen X and Gen Y as not committed to their companies and feel they have an entitlement mentalityFrom Face to Face to Facebook.Significant shift from focus on face to face (formal) communication to interactive, informal communication.
Results of not recognizing that there are differences in working styles and preferences, and differences in the way each generation views the role of leadership, and the world of work can possibly create challenges in the organization and its’ ability to perform. Current leadership pays little attention to the cultural, circumstantial and situational needs of each generation – according to Jeanne Meister, one of the authors of The 2020 Workplace, less than 20% of organizations (world wide) have begun thinking strategically about how to handle these differences and address the pending retirement boom of the boomers.We can not assume that upcoming generations will eventually align their styles and preferences to previous styles and preferences. And why would we want that to happen? What needs to occur is solid acknowledgement that there are significant differences in work styles and preferences but the core values can be the base on which to build new leaders.This list of potential leadership challenges that could materialize if no effort is made to address the working style and preferences of the different generations is probably not different than the usual challenges created by changes in market forces that leaders face daily. However, in this particular instance, each of these challenges could be exacerbated creating significant gaps in performance between the current and future states.Question to Audience:Are there any additional challenges, you or your organization might face, that are not on this list?For you, what are the most significant challenges? Why?
If you have the resources, create a cross functional team to develop the strategy and implement the process. Build a business case to convince the current leaders of their responsibility to harvest the boomer leader expertise and create a legacy for the next generation.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.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 of leaders. We are not talking about succession planning but growing and developing the next group of leaders 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)As part of the strategy for growing the organization and tackling competitive challenges, leadership competency should be a critical component to be analysed, developed and actioned for performance improvement.
As part of the strategy for growing the organization and tackling competitive challenges, leadership competency should be a critical component to be analysed, developed and implemented for performance improvement.Without a leadership philosophy, that is well communicated, and appreciative of the 4, and soon to be 5, generations and their value to the organization, leadership development has no focus so will not be a priority for the leaders and managers in the organization.
Commitment to self development and creation of clear strategy to leverage generational styles and preferences sets the tone, format and scope for developing the next group of leaders.‘Next’ practices are those required for future leadership development. Issue with best practices is – they reflect what is going on today in the current market conditions. So you need to do both – since this world of 4 and 5 generations working together – with one of the dominant ones leaving with their expertise – has never happened before. Remember, the workplace as we know it today is still very young. So this multigenerational version is new to us. We have to look at what works best now as well as look at what will work best given what we know about the preferences and styles and values of the next dominant generation.
We recommend a structured process be developed to capture the leadership capability of your current leaders, within each discipline and function, and locate the future leaders that need to be ‘matched’ with the appropriate boomer leader.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 BLL program without a comprehensive process in which to incorporate the program. We are not talking about leadership development only, we are talking about change management to create an environment for producing the next generation of leaders – to hold on to the expertise in your business.
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 9 – 10 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 leaders. The boomer legacy can become a great one, with your direction and support.
With the movement of the boomer generation towards retirement, the challenge is to mine the expertise they have for future generation of leaders.“Who is Developing our Future Leaders” looks at the effects of demographic changes in the workplace, particularly at the manager and executive level, and intergenerational leadership practices required to grow the next group of leaders, no matter the size of the business.We suggest this intergenerational workplace has significant implications for the development of future leaders.
Who is developing our future leaders version 3.0 october 2011 final
Who is Developing BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedOur Future Leaders?The Boomer Leader Legacy 1
Today’s Workplace Makeup (%) 40 40 30 30 25 20 BM2B - Matching Talent to Need 10 5 0 Traditionalists Boomers Gen X Gen Y 2
Next Decade Workplace Makeup (%) 50 50 40 30 22 20 20 10 1 BM2B - Matching Talent to Need 0 7 3
The Boomer Leaders’ Legacy (a demographic gift)1. Hold your Boomer Leaders accountable for developing your future leaders.2. Assess the ability of your Boomer Leaders to develop new leaders within the organization* BM2B - Matching Talent to Need3. Train the Boomer Leaders on how to effectively teach, coach and develop future leaders4. Recognize the Boomer Leaders who effectively develop your future leaders.*If you don’ t have Boomer Leaders in-house who can develop futureleaders, look outside your organization. 4
Sound Leadership Practices√ Develop Yourself√ Develop a Strategy BM2B - Matching Talent to Need√ Develop Others 5
Develop Yourself1. Gain a sound understanding of the generations in your workplace - research2. Evaluate the differences and similarities and develop an appreciation for both – knowledge BM2B - Matching Talent to Need3. Incorporate the concept of ‘flexibility’ into your leadership world – competency4. Develop your ‘new’ leadership philosophy - direction5. Evaluate and implement your coaching and mentoring skills – reflection and feedback. 6
Differences - Expectations of Work Traditionalists Boomer Gen X Gen YLoyal, respect Competitive Self-reliance Everyone is equalauthorityFocused on Optimistic, team- Sceptical, career- Self importance, BM2B - Matching Talent to Needcommon goals oriented oriented loyalty to colleaguesFocused on Results focus Results focus with Hard work &performing fun career aspirationsCompensated for Reward for results Reward for Seek rapiddoing job outcomes successPut aside their Seek promotion & Achieve work/life Sense ofown needs for career growth – balance community, workcompany. Job job security is part of life 7security continuum
Differences - Influences & Styles Traditionalists Boomer Gen X Gen YDefined by WWII Born into an ‘Latchkey kids & Empowerment abundant, healthy kids of divorce – years – everyone economy shadow of is rewarded boomers BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedLoyal, Egocentric Independence, Make owndependable, work Work defines self resilience, choices, questiontoward a common worth & others adaptability authoritygoalLive to work Live to work Work to live BalanceDependable, Expect others to View world with Everyone shouldbelieve in have the same some cynicism get more fromsacrificing for work ethic & work and distrust their employers 8others the same hours
Differences - CommunicationPreferences Traditionalists Boomer Gen X Gen Y BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedFormal Semi-Formal Irreverent Fun, eye-catchingSignificant Not connected Networking, Interactive,technology technologically, multi-processing global-minded,changes. Prefer face to face reigns connections, always connectedto connect face to – local network offace (formal) connections connections 9
Multigenerational LeadershipChallenges• Misalignment of goals and effort• Communication issues• Managing change – resistance to change• Teamwork BM2B - Matching Talent to Need• Conflict within, and across, generations=• Productivity – lower morale, lost opportunities• Engagement – less loyalty or interest• Retention and recruitment – high performers will not be 10 attracted or will leave
Develop a Strategy• Leadership competency development• Encouraging creativity and innovation at all levels• Increase capacity to manage change (all BM2B - Matching Talent to Need managers)• Direction for recruitment and retention of high performers• Open the demographic gift - optimize generational preferences and life experiences 11
Develop Others -Critical Success Factors‘’An effective LDL program needs structure to give it someintentionality.” Human Capital Institute, 2010• Share your leadership philosophy with all leaders and BM2B - Matching Talent to Need managers – involve them in development of appropriate communication media• Build accountability for leadership development into other leaders’ goals and objectives• Identify and remove barriers to developing others• Ensure leaders have the coaching & mentoring competencies required 12• Create a Boomer Leaders Legacy Program
The Boomer Leader Legacy Process1. Research ‘next’ practices2. Evaluate current competency and future leadership capability3. Establish your cross functional team BM2B - Matching Talent to Need4. Build development plans to address gaps5. Develop an BLL program6. Implement with current leaders7. Evaluate performance8. Reward and recognition 13
The Boomer Leader Legacy Process –Simple First Steps1. Review your employee population to determine leadership gaps, currently and in the coming years BM2B - Matching Talent to Need2. Identify your potential future leaders3. Assess your current Boomer Leaders as potential coaches/mentors for emerging leaders 14
Start your planning process NOW!‘Demographic gift’ needs to be opened and BM2B - Matching Talent to Needutilized if it is to provide value.Make sure your organization has boomer leadersto develop your future leaders. 15
Who is Developing BM2B - Matching Talent to NeedOur Future Leaders?The Boomer Leader Legacy For more detail – Article available in PDF – Just leave me your business card. 16