U.S firms struggling as Baby Boomers ride off into the sunset

2006

Dealing with the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and keeping workers in their mid-careers happy and engaged are the biggest challenges facing U.S employers, a new survey has suggested.

The study by Sirota Survey Intelligence found the top five challenges facing HR professionals were engagement of mid-careers employees, recruiting talented and experienced workers, training and mentoring once people had been hired, employees voluntarily leaving their jobs and the wave of baby-boomer retirements.

Of these, the baby-boomer and engagement issues were the two areas HR professionals felt least prepared to cope with.

Implementing flexible working and telecommuting programmes had now become pretty standard, the survey also found, with most HR professionals feeling most able and prepared to tackle these areas.

"While companies successfully and aggressively recruit high-talented employees, they continue to struggle with their retention," said Sirota president Douglas Klein.

"As labor markets tighten up in light of expected Baby Boomer retirements and other factors, companies need to aggressively identify the core and variable elements of the employment value proposition as these individuals move through the stages of the employment life cycle with their employers.

"Having an effective program to measure employee attitudes and take action on the finding is an important place to start," he said.