Booming Times New insights into the mindset of the baby boomer workforce to help employers unlock competitive advantage

The baby boomer generation (people born between 1946 and 1964) represents a pool of experienced, loyal talent with deep institutional knowledge, as well as strong potential to lead and mentor others. This segment of the workforce now expects to retire later in life or transition gradually into retirement. However, most companies do not have workforce strategies to attract or retain them.

This infographic provides a sophisticated snapshot of the baby boomer mindset.

Boomers’ attitudes may be partially to blame for their challenges in employment and re-employment

With Millennials rising in the managerial ranks and having a greater say in hiring decisions, Boomers’ negative perceptions of Millennials may be harming their hiring prospects.

General perceptions of Millenials

Compared to other generations, Boomers were more likely to perceive Millennials as exhibiting some negative, stereotypical work traits.

Millenials tend to be entitled, not willing to put time or hard work in to the job or task at hand

35%

Global average

29%

Millennials

42%

Gen X

46%

Boomers

Millenials tend to want immediate payoffs/rewards

47%

Global average

42%

Millennials

52%

Gen X

54%

Boomers

Millenials tend to demand fun / want to be entertained

27%

Global average

25%

Millennials

29%

Gen X

30%

Boomers

Millenials tend to challenge or question formal authority / traditional 'chains of command' in workplace*

28%

Global average

26%

Millennials

30%

Gen X

33%

Boomers

*This is one of the few “negative” stereotypes about them that Millennials agree with – which may also spell trouble for Boomer job applicants. Millennials may think Boomers will be difficult employees if they believe their seniority should automatically command authority.

Boomers were also the least likely generation to credit Millennials with core skills considered critical to success in today’s dynamic global economy

Millenials value collaboration

32%

Global average

40%

Millennials

24%

Gen X

22%

Boomers

Millenials value risk and change

19%

Global average

24%

Millennials

15%

Gen X

13%

Boomers

Millenials are comfortable
with multitasking

33%

Global average

42%

Millennials

25%

Gen X

25%

Boomers

Millenials are very
achievement focused

29%

Global average

37%

Millennials

22%

Gen X

21%

Boomers

Boomers had meaningfully lower perceptions than the average on Millennials valuing and embracing diversity, perhaps because Boomers are sensitive to age diversity and include it in their definition of diversity

Millenials value and
embrace diversity

38%

Global average

44%

Millennials

33%

Gen X

34%

Boomers

MILLENNIAL PERCEPTIONS OF BOOMERS COULD ALSO PROVE A HURDLE FOR JOB-SEEKING BOOMERS

The Millennial generation was the most likely of all generations to hold negative stereotypes of Boomers regarding their technology skills and willingness to learn new things. These negative perceptions might make them less likely to hire, or recommend hiring, a Boomer.

Respondents were asked: “Baby Boomers tend to ...”

"... be behind the times with technology"

0%

All Generations

0%

Millenials

0%

Gen X

0%

Boomers

"...out of touch and disinterested in learning new things"

0%

All Generations

0%

Millenials

0%

Gen X

0%

Boomers

Both globally and in the U.S., Millennials held statistically higher negative opinions of Boomers on these two attributes than the generational average.

MOST BOOMERS ARE BEYOND THE CAREER ADVANCEMENT STAGE, AND JUST WANT MORE FLEXIBILITY/FREE TIME

Boomers are willing to work hard, but at this stage in their lives, they are looking for more flexibility and time off, and less management responsibility than Millennials are looking for.

Career advancement

Globally, Boomers are more willing than Millennials to give up career advancement.

Flexibility in your work schedule / More flexible work arrangements

Boomers 34%
Millenials 27%

Opportunity to work remotely

Boomers 29%
Millenials 24%

Additional vacation time

Boomers 23%
Millenials 20%

Less managment responsibilities / Decreased scope in job responsibilities

Boomers 22%
Millenials 19%

And, when evaluating both current and prospective job opportunities, flexible work arrangements matter more to Boomers than Millennials.

When considering total compensation from a current/prospective employer, what is most important to you?

Flexible work arrangements

66%

Boomers

60%

Millennials

Which would drive your decision to accept one
job/position over another?

Flexible work arrangements

60%

Boomers

53%

Millennials

BOOMERS REDEFINING WHAT “RETIREMENT” LOOKS LIKE, BUT EMPLOYERS SLOW TO ADAPT

While Boomers feel strong loyalty to their employer, only a minority of them see their employer creating opportunities for them to continue to work on different terms as they approach/reach traditional retirement age. Employers may be overlooking a significant opportunity to retain valued talent.

Boomers Are Loyal to Their Employer

42%

of Boomers globally said they were “totally committed” to their current or most recent employer, noticeably higher than the 39% generational average

48%

of global workers aged 55 and older say they feel a strong sense
of belonging to their employer*

73%

of global workers aged 55 and older say they plan to work with their
current employer until they retire, if possible*

But The Vast Majority of Employers Aren’t Meeting Boomers’ Flexible Retirement Needs.

58%

of global workers (all ages) say phased retirement would be a very
or extremely important benefit**

but only ...

28%

of employers offer phased retirement according to global workers**

and, only ...

9%

of those age 55+ are offered retraining or reskilling opportunities*

27%

of those age 55+ say their employer offers the opportunity
to move from full-time to part-time employment*

* Aegon 2015 - The New Flexible Retirement (PDF)
** Aegon 2016 - Retirement Readiness Survey (PDF, page 33)

EMPLOYERS ARE ALSO NOT MEETING BOOMER EXPECTATIONS REGARDING SKILLS TRAINING

Across the board, Boomer talent seeks to keep their skills current. Learning opportunities make employers more attractive and are highly rated drivers of accepting one position over another. But, Boomers rate their employers lower than other generations on learning-related measures.

79%

of Boomer workers globally feel their skills/knowledge will need to evolve/grow in order to keep up with changes in their line of work/industry

Across all regions and key industry verticals, approximately 4 out of 5 Boomers (or more) agree

Region

Americas

79%

EMEA

80%

APAC

78%

Key Industry Vertical

Automotive

84%

Chemicals

78%

Consumer Goods

80%

Energy

82%

Financial services

81%

High Tech

82%

Life Sciences

82%

Oil & Gas

79%

Boomer attraction factors

An employer who offers opportunities to acquire new/cutting edge skills and capabilities is attractive to a growing number of Boomers, and these opportunities can be decision drivers in selecting new positions or employers.

Training/ development opportunities

2015 67%
2014 55%

Opportunity to work with knowledgeable colleagues who you can learn from

2015 62%
2014 48%

Opportunity to work on innovative projects

2015 45%

Exposure to latest technologies and top-notch equipment

2015 47%
2014 33%

Globally, Boomers score their current/most recent employer meaningfully lower than the average on several measures related to generational skills training.

"The company is investing in training/upskilling"

0%

All Generations

0%

Millenials

0%

Gen X

0%

Boomers

"Hands-on/on-the-job learning is encouraged across the organization"

0%

All Generations

0%

Millenials

0%

Gen X

0%

Boomers

"The work environment* supports employees to deliver high levels of performance."

0%

All Generations

0%

Millenials

0%

Gen X

0%

Boomers