They still account for a significant chunk of the working population at around 25% of the workforce. While the youngest of your Baby Boomer employees are approaching their mid-50s, the oldest among them are now in their early 70s.
Known as the generation that had it all, Baby Boomer employees consider themselves as hardworking and tend to define themselves by their professional accomplishments. Motivated by position, perks, and prestige, this generation is typified by workaholics who have put in the long hours, often to the detriment of their personal lives. As such, they can be quick to criticise their Generation X and Millennial colleagues for what they see is a lack of work ethic and commitment.
With their long experience in the workforce, you need to know how to bring out the best of your Baby Boomer employees. The secret lies in offering flexibility, tailored benefits, and the opportunity to pass on their experience through mentoring.
Of course, flexibility is something that’s about to be enshrined in workplace legislation. As we mentioned in our post on the recent changes to awards, the Fair Work Commission has recommended incorporating a term related to flexible working arrangements in all awards.
For Baby Boomer employees, achieving a work/life balance with the ability to work flexibly is now more important to them than it was in the earlier stages of their careers. Now, as your older generation of employees, flexible working can be very helpful for those with caring responsibilities, or for those who see it as a way of easing into retirement.
Ease into retirement
In fact, in the UK, research by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing has found that employees who are given more control over the timing of their retirement from the workplace have a greater sense of physical, financial and emotional wellbeing.
As an employer, it makes good business sense to think creatively about the retirement options you offer. Think about the value older workers can add via consultancy or project-based contracts. In terms of flexibility, older workers may relish the opportunity to work flexibly in advisory or mentoring roles.
Focusing on health
With your oldest Baby Boomer employees already in their early 70s, lifestyle-related health issues among them are likely to mount. In fact, more of this cohort will enter their senior years with obesity, diabetes, and arthritis than any other generation before them.
In terms of your wellness initiatives:
- Encourage and support healthy eating habits, and be conscious about the type of foods you provide in your workplace.
- Provide nutrition coaching that addresses concerns for chronic diseases like osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Sponsor wellness clinics where employees can have essential health screening and monitor such things as their blood sugar count.
- Introduce yoga classes and strength training, balance exercises, and walking. Classes and activities that improve memory and decrease stress are also a great fit for this generation.
While your Baby Boomer employees are aging, so are their parents. Some of this cohort may be facing difficult decisions about care for their elderly family members which can put a huge strain on their emotional and financial wellbeing. So, providing flexible workplace arrangements is a must.
Offer part-time schedules and the opportunity to telecommute to retain this valuable cohort and make full use of the wealth of skills, knowledge and experience this generation has to offer, while supporting them to take care of their elderly relatives.
Leadership and learning
Many Baby Boomer employees retire early due to a lack of transferable skills. If you are serious about retaining older workers, it is important to put formal employee training programs in place.
- Encourage these employees to develop their skills and learn new ones that will help them become more efficient in their current jobs.
- Enlist your Baby Boomer employees as mentors for Millennials.
- Support knowledge sharing with younger generations.
It’s important to recognise Baby Boomer employees close to the end of their working lives, who own their own homes have very different financial needs from Millennials at the start of their working lives who rent.
- Offer financial workshops and webinars from industry specialists on maximising retirement savings as an older worker.
- Provide access to financial advisors.
- Offer flexible retirement policies and flexible working arrangements to ease this generation into retirement.
Rewards and benefits
For this generation, healthcare benefits, travel vouchers and experiences are highly prized.
Healthy wellbeing initiatives for Gen X employees
|Physical wellbeing||Emotional wellbeing||Financial wellbeing|
Before you roll out your own wellbeing initiatives for Baby Boomer employees, make sure you survey all your staff to find out what they really want. You can read about the needs of other generations in our previous posts.
Segment the survey findings into generation groupings as the basis for your plan.
Launch your employee wellbeing initiatives with Flare
Offering employee wellbeing services to enhance your employees’ overall health and wellbeing, learn how Flare’s platform can help you become an employer of choice and offer best-in-class employee wellbeing initiatives.
Get started! Book your free demo today.