It’s the end of June and retirement parties are happening all over town. They are festive events for the pending “retiree” (who can’t stop smiling) but not everyone feels the same way. Often, the managers, department heads and team leaders are suddenly realizing that a wealth of expertise, experience and history is walking right out their door. As leaders tell me, “it’s a tsunami” of baby boomers retiring and for the most part the remaining leadership is totally unprepared to fill these gaps in the short or long run.
So what can you as a leader do? Build relationships now! Don’t wait. The single most effective initiative you can take in your organization is to ensure that the four generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials) have regular opportunities to connect with one another, to collaborate on projects and therefore to learn “up & down” the generations. Challenge your employees/colleagues to tap into each other’s wisdom, knowing that each generation is bringing different strengths and gifts to the workplace and ultimately for the benefit of your company. After all, they were hired by your company to do just that.
It’s tempting to stay with what we are most comfortable with – to work in silos. You as a leader have the responsibility and opportunity to create a “multi-generational learning environment” for the benefit of all. Give them an opportunity to work and learn from each other. Try it!