employees observe older ones during a project.
Then make sure the younger worker has a chance to
undertake hands-on activities, too.
2. TRY CO-MEN TORING.
Organizations should offer programs where baby
boomers and millennials jointly mentor each
other. Baby boomers can provide perspective on
organizational history and routines, and millennials can share their knowledge and experience
with technology. (The millennial generation, also
known as Generation Y, was born between 1981
and 1997.) The traditional mentoring relationship
is based on the idea that a senior worker is sharing
his or her expertise with a younger colleague. A
better approach recognizes that both generations
of workers have much to offer each other.
In a previous job, I developed a mutually beneficial co-mentoring relationship with a senior colleague. He was from the World War II generation,
and I am part of Generation X, generally defined
as being born between 1965 and 1980. Initially, we
viewed each other with a degree of suspicion and
uneasiness. But we eventually overcame these feelings as he helped me understand the company’s
organizational processes and routines, and I helped
him on computer training and skills. The relationship was valuable to both of us, and the company.
3. CONSIDER A SOFT RETIREMENT PLAN.
Organizations should allow baby boomers to
continue to work on a part-time or consulting
PMP, is an engagement leader
at ADP, Dewitt,
Organizations can deliberately
structure work teams to ensure a
diversity of generations working
together. This approach allows
knowledge to be transferred informally,
in the course of everyday work.
basis after they leave full-time employment.
Scripps Health is an example of a company that
allows older workers to undertake a phased-in
retirement over several years and even return
later through contract work and consulting. This
type of system can facilitate a longer window for
4. FOSTER AN INTERGENERATIONAL
Ideally, baby boomers, Generation Xers and
millennials should work together routinely. For
example, organizations can deliberately structure
work teams to ensure a diversity of generations
This approach allows knowledge to be transferred
informally, in the course of everyday work. It also
builds trust and mutual respect among the generations, which allows more formal knowledge transfer
programs to run effectively.
The generation now beginning to retire pro-
vided a strong base for global industry to prosper.
Its knowledge, skills and experience cannot be
replaced simply by the introduction of computers or other technology. Successful organizations
will seek strategies that engage all generations and
ensure the transfer of critical skills and knowledge
to younger generations. At the same time, the
newer generations’ approach to learning should
be respected and leveraged to ensure a successful
knowledge transfer program. PM