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Podcast on Changing Workforce Demographics

Earlier this month,  I had a discussion with Workforce Institute board members David Creelman, Mark Lange and Dr. Tim Porter O’Grady about their perspectives on how changes in the age demographics of the workplace are likely to impact organizations.  There have been multiple stories about this in the news lately including this recent NPR broadcast about delayed retirement, this Towers Perrin report on attitudes toward retirement, and this article by Peter Cappelli in HRE on the need for changing perceptions of older workers as more delay retirement.  All of these sources point to a trend toward later retirements, driven not only by economic factors like the recession and needed health benefits, but also by the desire of older workers to stay engaged in the world of work.  On the other end of the demographic spectrum, younger workers are entering the workplace with an equally keen desire to work, although arguably under a different employment contract than their elders were willing to accept.

I asked our panelists to talk about both boomer and millenial workers and what the future holds.  We recorded the discussion of these questions.  You can access their responses by clicking on the links below.

Question 1: For the better part of the last decade, there has been a lot of discussion and much written about how the retirement of the baby boomers would create significant deficits in the supply of labor.  To what extent do you think those predictions have or will come true?

Panel Discussion of Baby Boom Retirement Implications for the Workplace

Question 2: There are mixed reviews of the Millennial generation – generally thought of as those born after 1980.  What are your thoughts about the newest generation of workers and what contributions they’re likely to make to the organizations that employ them?

Panel Discussion of Millenials’ impact in the workplace

Bonus Feature! Readings and video suggested by our board members during this podcast:

Millenials Rising – Howe & Strauss

Drive – Daniel Pink

Dan Pink video about surprising aspects of what motivates us. (Hint – for knowledge work, it’s not money…)

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  1. One of the more immediate implications of the economic downturn is the postponement of retirement of people who might otherwise have retired at 60 or older. A large number are not retiring…in part for economic reasons, in part because they remain vital and engaged in their work. A difficulty this presents is the lack of upward mobility for the next generation coming along. Those more senior positions are not being vacated and there is a ‘traffic jam’ at mid management levels for high potential employees who have no where to go. Better succession planning and individual development internally with interesting special projects and cross functional opportunities are needed to keep these employees excited and engaged while they wait.

    October 21, 2010
  2. Kelley #

    Awesome podcast!

    November 11, 2010

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