Baby Boomer Brain Drain

Monday, January 4 2016

(Updated November 2022) – The Baby Boomer brain drain is similar to working without a net. Imagine you are typing away on your laptop, and your computer has been acting up lately. You know it’s nearly time to upgrade, but you just need to find the time to do a little research and shopping. Quite honestly, every time the hourglass spins on the screen, it makes you nervous because you have years of work stored on this laptop and you know you should be backing up these files. But you’ve been so busy trying to keep up with demands, you don’t have time to worry about that now; then suddenly, all your data is gone.

The Baby Boomer Brain Drain

How do organizations protect and pass along the knowledge, experience and relationships from Baby Boomers? Too often, we lack a ‘back up’, someone to step up when they aren’t able to hold the fort. Fortunately, coaching closes the gap, and there are four key elements that comprise effective coaching:

Commitment

  • Have you had career discussions with your direct reports about their retirement plans as well as a good succession plan for yourself?
  • What are the expectations for sharing the knowledge, experience and relationships with other members of the team, and is it happening? Sharing can be difficult, so individuals may hesitate to develop in others the assets that make them feel valuable and secure. Passing on influential relationships is critical to future success, so be sure you are walking the talk in this regard.
  • When does the leader need to step down and let a younger person lead? This is especially applicable in partnerships.

Guidance

  • How do you help younger generations lead Baby Boomers to ensure commitment and accountability? An external coach can help.
  • Are the Baby boomer leaders in your organization effectively coaching those from other generations to ensure sustainability of the team?

Support

  • What support is needed to ensure an effective transition of ownership?
  • Have you analyzed the impact on the business of retiring Baby Boomers?
  • How do we retain younger generations who may leave if they are not feeling valued, and will they take the knowledge that the Baby Boomers have shared to another organization?

Accountability

  • How do you ensure that commitment, guidance and support are being implemented?
  • Are you committed to regular coaching to find out how individuals are doing? Concerns left unattended can lead to demotivation.

Take control now to manage the Baby Boomer brain drain.

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