Baby Boomers Providing a Backbone to Business
Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey Shows Recession is Causing this Generation to Stay Longer On-The-Job
Editor’s Note: Full Survey Results at Bottom of Release
In a survey of global executives that looked at the role of Baby Boomers, 55 percent stated that they are willing to work longer hours than other generations, and were considered the second most productive generation after Gen X. Nearly a third (31 percent) felt they needed less feedback than millennials or Gen X employees, demonstrating how Boomers are also seen as reliable, in addition to hardworking.
“It’s clear from the results that the Baby Boomer generation still forms
an integral part of the backbone of businesses today,” said
When asked more broadly about Baby Boomers in the workplace, more than half (54 percent) 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 a quarter (28 percent) 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 percent considering ‘experience and expertise’ as the main reason for bringing them into a business.
“Our survey has shown that Boomers are every bit as ambitious and passionate as other generations,” continued MacDonald. “Couple this drive with extensive experience and you are presented with a force to be reckoned with in the workplace. With this in mind, employers need to ensure that they attract and retain the best talent across all generations in order to drive business success and futureproof their organization.”
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 percent saying they will retire 10 years later or more. In addition, 43 percent 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,” said McDonald. “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.”
About the survey
Note: The online survey of executives was fielded from
What matters most to your Baby Boomer (born 1946 – 1964) employees?
|Job stability||41 percent|
|Ability to make a difference in the organization||24 percent|
|Work/life balance||14 percent|
|Visibility and buy-in into the mission/vision of the organization||10 percent|
Compared to other generations, how willing are Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1946) to work longer hours/weekends?
|Much more willing||55 percent|
|Somewhat more willing||20 percent|
|Equally willing||12 percent|
|Somewhat less willing||7 percent|
|Much less willing||5 percent|
What makes a Baby Boomer (born 1946 – 1964) choose one job over another?
|Location/ability to stay near family||29 percent|
|Visibility and buy-in into the mission/vision of the organization||19 percent|
|Clear path for advancement||14 percent|
|Title and pay||16 percent|
|Management and responsibilities||22 percent|
Compared to other generations, how much feedback do Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) need?
|A lot more feedback||13 percent|
|Somewhat more feedback||21 percent|
|About the same feedback||19 percent|
|Somewhat less feedback||31 percent|
|A lot less feedback||16 percent|
What is the best way to retain Baby Boomer (born 1946 – 1964) talent in an organization?
|Regular pay rises/promotions||6 percent|
|Creating a culture that aligns with their values||22 percent|
|Providing them with an opportunity to make an impact||54 percent|
|Ensuring work/life balance||8 percent|
|Management responsibilities||10 percent|
What is your main reason for hiring Baby Boomer (born 1946 – 1964) talent?
|Their past experiences and expertise||50 percent|
|Their work ethic||17 percent|
|The impact they have upon workplace culture||9 percent|
|Their ability to help cultivate and manage younger workers||24 percent|
Do you find Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) accepting of younger generations joining your organization?
|Very accepting||54 percent|
|Somewhat accepting||35 percent|
|Somewhat unaccepting||11 percent|
|Very unaccepting||0 percent|
On average, what generation do you believe is the most productive in the workforce?
|Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)||28 percent|
|Gen X (born 1965 – 1980)||62 percent|
|Millennial (born 1981 – 1995)||10 percent|
|Gen Z (born after 1996)||1 percent|
Do you feel Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) will have the relevant tech/digital skills needed in the next five years?
|Yes, our Baby Boomer employees stay up-to-date on the latest tech/digital skills||29 percent|
|They have some of the tech skills needed||46 percent|
We rely on younger generations to fulfill technology demands
At what age do think the average Baby Boomer will retire from your company
|Ages 55 – 60||22 percent|
|Ages 61 – 65||33 percent|
|Ages 66 and older||43 percent|
What impact did the recession have on the retirement age of Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)?
|They will leave up to 5 years earlier||8 percent|
|They will leave at about the same age||12 percent|
|They will leave up to 5 years later||50 percent|
|They will leave up to 10 years later||31 percent|
Korn Ferry Futurestep
Tracy Kurschner, 612.309.3957