Failing to plan for exiting older workers could spell financial disaster for financial services companies. In order to best leverage the aging workforce, companies should make a talent assessment and be prepared to deal with the specific needs of this generation in order to enhance their value in the workplace.

In my previous post, I covered what’s needed to manage an aging workforce and how to prepare for the transfer of vital company information as Millennials become part of the organisation. In this post, I take a look at the type of planning that is essential for exiting Baby Boomers and how to bring these two generations together, as their combined efforts are needed going forward.

Financial services companies must find ways to retain older employees while embracing a multi-generational workforce. Older employees can provide extensive value in the workplace due to their decades-long experience, worth ethic and stability. For example, without this generation of employees, companies could risk losing potential customers who prefer speaking to older, “more experienced” employees about financial matters.

Meeting challenges head on

The first step in preparing to deal with older employees who are leaving the workforce is to identify what makes the best the best. Undertaking an assessment of talent—in other words, identifying the valuable skills and experience older employees possess—can help firms devise recruiting strategies that are focused on finding new workers with similar talents. This can be accomplished by:

  • Assessing and prioritising gaps and potential areas of value
  • Developing targeted programs and action plans to address an organisation’s biggest areas of concern on a targeted timeline

Secondly, to retain and leverage aging workers, management should understand and meet their unique needs, such as ensuring Baby Boomers are given opportunities to work flexible schedules as they transition out. This generation also desires opportunities to learn new technologies, so providing customised training for this age group will be important.

Risks of failure to plan

If no mechanism is put in place to adequately enable the transfer of knowledge from older employees to younger workers, companies risk losing decades of vital information, long-standing relationships and insights. A critical knowledge loss could negatively impact both workers and the bottom line, as customers become dissatisfied through dealing with an inexperienced workforce.

Providing opportunities for Baby Boomers to mentor Millennials is one of the key factors in retaining both workforces. These opportunities should also include working together on intergenerational projects.

Rewards of proactively addressing the issues

Essentially, to create a productive and fulfilled workforce, organisations must:

  • Enable successful knowledge transfer
  • Foster a culture of inclusion by respecting each generation’s diverse talents and knowledge-base to bridge the skills gap
  • Improve customer relationships by providing a well-rounded, combined workforce

Financial services companies that bring together top talent from both generations will reap the benefits of an engaged workforce that functions as a cohesive team.

In my next post, I’ll review the steps needed to embrace the changing workforce and how to plan ahead.

In the meantime, you can read more about how the workforce is in a time of transition in: Workforce of the Future: Dealing with Business Change and the Millennial Change.