Greatest threat

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me   Article

Your Greatest Business Threat

“It’s a threat so severe that in many cases it threatens the very existence of their business. The threat they miss comes from the rapidly changing demographics of the workforce. Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every single day. … They are replaced by far far fewer Millennials. That’s the textbook definition of a problem. A very serious problem. …

The Millennials who replace boomers will have far less experience and know-how, and will need considerable training to get up-to-speed. This will lead to significant gaps in areas such as engineering, utilities, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and many many more professions. The majority of the less desirable manual labor jobs, even skilled positions like mechanics and service technicians will become increasing challenging, if not impossible, to fill.

Just as important for leaders is the need for awareness as to just how differently Millennials will behave. Millennials significantly differ from Boomers in a number of ways: They want, actually need, more feedback and attention, and prefer the instant gratification of texting to the slower response of email; they prefer casual attire so they can just be themselves at work; they want tons more flexibility with scheduling and work location; they value the importance of their work over pay and benefits; and they want to be involved in strategy and not just told what to do. (It’s important to keep in mind when discussing generational differences that we’re discussing ‘generalities,’ it’s just as unfair to ‘pigeonhole’ the Millennial generation as any other)

None of this makes Millennials harder to work with or more challenging to lead, it just means a shift in leadership thinking. …

The threat posed by the changing demographics is so severe that your next threat assessment (or whatever you want to call it) needs to be focused almost exclusively on the internal workings of your organization. Conduct a demographic risk-analysis of your team. What knowledge and skills are likely to leave your organization in the next five years and how will you replace it. … If it’s determined that they will and those strengths are held by a Boomer then you have identified a threat. …

I fully understand the difference between a real threat and an irrational apocalyptic kind of threat. This threat is the real kind, VERY very real; the numbers just don’t lie. If you disagree then I wish you luck cause you’re going to need it.”

 

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