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R e t a i n e d   E x e c u t i v e   S e a r c h                                                                         ...
Professional characteristics:   ✤ Goal‐oriented                                                              ✤ Like to be ...
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Mindset of Baby Boomers & How To Engage Them in the Workplace


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For the first time in history, there are four generations making up the US workforce. This is the first perspective article of a series that will highlight these diverse generations and their professional mindsets. Representing 37% of the total, baby boomers are valuable team members with extensive experience and skills. By understanding their mindset, organizations can effectively motivate them.

Published in: Recruiting & HR, Career, Business
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Mindset of Baby Boomers & How To Engage Them in the Workplace

  1. 1. R e t a i n e d   E x e c u t i v e   S e a r c h  Construction Facilities Management Real Estate Engineering  Pi8sburgh 724.935.7500 The Mindset of Baby Boomers  & How to Effectively Engage Them ‐ by Sami L. BarryFor the first Fme in history, there are four generaFons making up the US workforce. RecruiFng, moFvaFng and managing these individuals with diverse perspecFves, work ethics and career ideals can be a challenge for many organizaFons. Therefore, understanding each generaFon’s aPtudes, behaviors, strengths and moFvaFonal bu8ons can assist you to effecFvely integrate these aPtudes in your workforce and to build teams that are producFve and cohesive.   Baby Boomers represent a significant porFon (37%) of this diverse US workforce. Born between 1943 and 1964, these individuals are the most likely of all of the generaFons to hold management posiFons, which makes it even more criFcal for organizaFons to understand these professionals. The first step in knowing how to engage these employees is to learn what historical events in US history affected their growth and helped to shape the kind of person they are today, personally and professionally. From those answers, you can then comprehend how to conFnually engage them as producFve, valuable members of your organizaFonal team.Simply understanding how the baby boomers within your organizaFon think and feel about work and their careers, and implemenFng ways to moFvate them, can have a tremendous impact on their performance. With the knowledge and experFse baby boomers possess, organizaFons that leverage the strength and skill sets of this generaFon will experience sustained success long aYer these professionals reFre. Personal Characteristics: Historical events that ✤ Confident shaped their early lives: ✤ OpFmisFc  ✤ Independent Civil Rights Movement ✤ Challenge rules Cold War ✤ Family‐oriented Space travel ✤ Status conscious Vietnam War ✤ Work / Life balance tends to Fp toward work Social unrest ✤ Value personal growth and social involvement Nixon / Watergate ✤ Challenge authority and rebel against convenFon Television ✤ Generally anF‐establishment and anF‐government
  2. 2. Professional characteristics: ✤ Goal‐oriented ✤ Like to be acknowledged by raises and promoFons ✤ Career‐Focused ✤ Define themselves by professional accomplishment ✤ Team OrientaFon ✤ Prefer face‐to‐face communicaFon and in‐person  ✤ Respect hierarchy meeFngs ✤ Respond well to coaching ✤ CompeFFve because they equate work and posiFon  with self‐worth ✤ AccommodaFng of technology ✤ Possess strong loyalty to their employers as they feel a  ✤ Prefer a consensual leadership style sense of belonging and dedicaFon ✤ Internalized strong work ethic (workaholics) what are the keys to engaging baby boomers?First and foremost, give them attention and Baby Boomers want to be involved in allrecognition because they are motivated by decisions at all stages.  They appreciate being valued and needed. transparency and democracy in decision‐making. Specifically, you should consider the following: Baby Boomers respect employers withBaby boomers are often motivated by their established policies who play fair. The parents of position and authority. They prefer Ftles and  boomers were from a generaFon that had a strong  employer/employee commitment. This upbringing has authority commensurate with their responsibility. made it desirable for baby boomers to work for  Baby boomers seek meaning and balance and companies that are loyal to their employees and value mentoring other generations is appealing to hard work and years of dedicaFon.them.  Furthermore, their experFse could be the most  Baby boomers want opportunities for post-powerful on‐the‐job training for your other employees.  retirement employment.  A new phenomenon is Mentoring others is a way they can share their  occurring in which baby boomers coming upon experiences and transfer their knowledge, thus building  tradiFonal reFrement age either cannot afford to stop the skill sets of other employees.  working or feel that their lives may be less fulfilling Baby Boomers like to work on team projects without work. Therefore, they are interested in acFve  reFrement or flexible, part‐Fme arrangements. with their colleagues.  Allow them to parFcipate in  Employers should take advantage of this mindset and associaFons and conferences that help them to  tap into their experience and skill sets on a flexible maintain their professional connecFon with their peers. basis.Baby Boomers like challenging assignments.  Baby Boomers seek opportunities with short-They want to work on projects that can gain them recogniFon and that make a difference to your  term financial rewards and long-term financialorganizaFon.  security. Offer them reFrement, 401(k), pension, and  stock plans.Sami L. Barry performs Strategic Market Development for Helbling & Associates, a retained execuBve search firm specializing exclusively in faciliBes  management, construcBon, real estate and engineering. She is a member of the Washington Building Congress and the Green Building Alliance.  To subscribe to Helbling’s quarterly newsleMer, visit our home page at and click on the green buMon on the boMom right. Social Media: Blog: TwiMer:  @helblingsearch