Why Baby Boomer employees are the most motivated and driven

Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are still some of the most motivated and driven members of the workforce, research finds.

Some 55 per cent of Baby Boomers state that they are willing to work longer hours than other generations, and are considered the second most productive generation after Generation X, according to a survey by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry.

Nearly a third (31 per cent) feel they need less feedback than millennials or Generation X employees, demonstrating how Boomers are also seen as reliable, in addition to hardworking.

Jeanne MacDonald, Futurestep’s president of global talent acquisition solutions says that it’s clear from the results that the Boomer generation still forms an integral part of the backbone of businesses today.

‘There has been so much talk about millennials in the workplace and their impact that many organisations forget that Baby Boomers are still a vital part of the workforce. Our survey has revealed that they are dedicated, hardworking and reliable, while still having a desire to drive progress.’

Retaining Baby Boomer talent

When asked more broadly about Baby Boomers in the workplace, more than half (54 per cent) of respondents say that the ‘opportunity to make an impact on the business’ is the best way to retain Boomer talent. This far outstrips the ambition of other generations; with just over a quarter (28 per cent) of executives surveyed indicating that making an impact at work is the key motivator for millennials, highlighting just how integral Boomers are to businesses today.

The survey also reveals that employers are eager to take advantage of the experience Boomers have, with 50 per cent considering ‘experience and expertise’ as the main reason for bringing them into a business.

‘Our survey has shown that Boomers are every bit as ambitious and passionate as other generations,’ MacDonald adds. ‘Couple this drive with extensive experience and you are presented with a force to be reckoned with in the workplace.’

Employers need to ensure that they attract and retain the best talent across the generations, not just millennials or Gen X, in order to drive business success and futureproof their organisation.

The survey also reveals that the Great Recession has had an impact on the retirement plans of Baby Boomers, with 81 per cent of executives surveyed now believing that Boomers will retire at least five years later than they had planned prior to the recession, with 31 per cent saying they will retire ten years later or more.

‘While many in the Baby Boomer generation are working longer to provide more financial security after seeing their retirement account balances tumble during the Great Recession, their desire to extend their careers is not entirely financially motivated,’ says MacDonald.

‘What is often overlooked is the fact the majority of Boomers are highly motivated, enjoy what they do and they provide great experience and value within the global workforce.’

Further reading on employees

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics