Right now, homecare agencies are faced with not only shortages in staffing, but the reality of the baby boom generation retiring. Just like every other generation of employee, it is important to understand the needs of the baby boomer so they remain engaged in the workplace or you can quickly lose such a vital asset to your organization. Let’s look at what is important to this generation of employee and how to promote retention from these employees.
Current Baby Boomer Climate:
Looking at the boomer generation, we see the following mix of employees:
- Long-Termers: Those who plan to remain with the agency until retirement. They are a valued asset but not someone you typically worry about losing before retirement.
- Those Forced To Continue Working: There are a whole lot of boomers raising grandchildren right now. These folks may not want to work anymore, but don’t have the choice. We also see a lot of these folks helping children through struggles with finances.
- Post-Retirement Positions: In the world of pension funds, there are a huge number of people that can retire with full pensions and still have 10-20 years for potential employment. They may want flexibility or part-time, but still have the desire and drive to continue working. These individuals may be caring for elderly parents and need and employer that understands what obligations may lie at home.
Looking at this mix of staff, Gallup reports only one-third of these individuals being engaged at work. That’s a problem. You know these people have the expertise, skills, and life as well as work experience to help operations work well between generation of employees. If this is the case, then why are only a third engaged in work? Obviously, there are those who do not want to work at all who are in a situation forcing them to do so. However, this does not mean engagement in employment can’t happen. Engagement regardless of the situation is important and your agency loses value when you lose experience from boomers. If you properly support these individuals, then you can prolong the desire for them to leave.
Retention Of Baby Boomers:
Many employers make the mistake of using the baby boomer only as a way to impart knowledge to those who will be taking over their positions. This is a mistake. This is the time to look at this demographic to run your training programs. This allows them to have a really important part of mentoring employees and moving your organization forward in the long-term. When you have a boomer interested in new skill sets, run with it. A desire to learn doesn’t go away as people age. Some thrive on an environment that allows them to constantly learn. Gallup states that only 14% of baby boomers strongly agree they learn new things in their workplace.
Consider your benefits packages today. Are they the same a a decade or two ago? Foster knowledge about part time employment with partial retirement draws. This would allow the valued employee to remain with the agency longer. As healthcare needs for the older employees become increasingly important, employers need to consider whether someone would stay because of this offering. Employers offering more than one plan allowing these employees to pick stronger coverage is important.
The reality is that employers have to look at retention strategies and adjust them accordingly on a routine basis. If your retention focus is just on the millennials, then you are at a real risk to alienate Gen X and Baby Boom employees. Very soon, you will have the Gen Zs to add to that mix. Baby Boomers are as likely to leave
Let Kenyon Homecare Consulting Help:
Are you struggling with your retention or recruitment? Let Kenyon Homecare Consulting assist with helping you work through operational changes and recruitment strategies. Do you need guidance on making this a part of your yearly strategic plan? Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help.