Baby Boomers at Work
Following recent legislation such as The Employment Equality (Repeal of Retirement Age Provisions) Regulations 2011, and planned increases to the state pensions age, it is known that older people in work are on the rise, and that patterns of work and retirement are changing. Therefore our existing research (see Generation Y: Overview and Background) has moved beyond Generation Y (Gen Y) to cover the complete continuum of generations in the workforce.
We want to look at the wants and needs of all generations in the workforce: examining what the older generation 'gets' from working longer and what they 'give back'. Our most recent research focuses on Baby Boomers (the over 50s) in the workplace.
The Voice of the Baby Boomers: Changing the workplace for the future
About this research
This current report presents the findings from the second stage of this project - a qualitative investigation of Baby Boomer perspectives. This second phase of research on the over 50s took place between September 2015 and September 2016. The aim of this phase was to delve more deeply into the subject of Baby Boomer motivations, challenges and views of working life. As such the following findings add depth to the existing report by collecting complementary qualitative data.
Who took part?
This research surveyed 1810 people using an online survey and conducted in-depth telephone interviews and focus groups with 186 Baby Boomers (those born in the year 1966 or before).
The interviews and focus groups were designed to gain insight into the perspectives and motivations of employees over the age of 50. The sessions were semi structured. Key themes were examined further and included:
· Changes in the nature of work and the working environment
· Individual motivations and challenges felt in the workplace, both positive and negative
· How they feel their organisation views and treats them
· What organisations are doing well/could do better
· Thoughts about the future
Finally, we asked the question: “If you could change one thing about your working life, describe what you would change and the effect this change would have on your life”.
What did we find?
The findings highlight a need to revisit corporate strategy and culture, examining in particular new working patterns, job types and rewards.
The results from the project have been divided into six key themes, encompassing both the survey questions and the interview data.
The themes concern:
The needs and priorities of Baby Boomers
The value of this generation and recognition of their contribution
Putting Baby Boomer behaviour and needs into the environmental context
The impact of corporate culture
The emotional drivers of Baby Boomer behaviour
The interaction of the over 50s with their line managers and younger colleagues.
Don't put Baby Boomers in the corner: Realising the potential of the over 50s at work
A survey of 2045 Baby Boomers (those aged 50 years and over, working or recently retired) and HR staff (of any age, working in an organisation that employs over 50-year olds), explored what the older generation 'gets' from working longer (in terms of their personal wants and needs) and what they 'give back' - their contribution of wisdom, knowledge, experience and insight to younger colleagues.
Our findings highlight many opportunities for organisations and individuals to use Baby Boomers to their full potential; there are examples of successful working opportunities for the over 50s and comparisons are made between responses from HR staff and Baby Boomers. The findings will be of interest to individuals, organisations, HR directors and those interested in the multigenerational workplace and the workforce of the future.
Download the Executive Summary
Contact us for a copy of the full report
Contact us if you would be interested in taking part, or finding out more.
Find out more about our inter-generational research.