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Avoiding Boomer "Brain Drain"


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about 76 million Baby Boomers, or 43 percent of the current work force, will be eligible to retire within the next 10 to 15 years. As they retire, the conventional wisdom is that the workforce will shrink, with employers and government alike pondering how the economy will cope. Both are said to be seeking ways in which they can encourage many of the Boomers to retire later, thus softening the blow, since the following generations are much smaller, and with a smaller percentage of qualified workers. [E]mployers who do believe that we are facing a "boomer brain drain" are restructuring some jobs to make them less tedious and more interesting, or allowing employees to take time during the workweek to volunteer for a local charity, or get in a round of golf. Such enhancements to the fringe package may keep long-time employees from collecting their gold watch and leaving, taking all their experience and talent with them. And, it may also act to entice younger workers, some of whom would welcome some flexibility, too. Another way companies plan to avoid the talent drain when Boomers retire is to make mentors out of them, or hire them back as consultants, trainers, or to work on special projects on a contract basis.

As Springer notes in her column, AARP has an excellent resource for boomers facing retirement--and their employers.

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