Dear Baby Boomers,
Congratulations! You have worked hard, paid your dues, and are in the home stretch. According to AARP, or the American Association of Retired Persons, all baby boomers will have reached the average retirement age of 65 by 2029. (According to Forbes, the average age of retirement in Brazil is much earlier.) As Millennials flood your workplace and change the rules of the game, it may feel like your dedication has been forgotten. But it hasn’t.
Speaking as a millennial, I can honestly say we aren’t trying to make you feel irrelevant. The world has simply changed a lot and we are maneuvering as best we can in this new economy.
But, as everything shifts around us, Millennials and Generation Xers still don’t have your experience. You are the experts. You know why things happen and can often anticipate cyclical changes before others. It is comforting to have seasoned leaders in our midst. Boomers, you are valuable and needed in your workplace.
If you want to get the most out of working with your youngest colleagues, here are a few suggestions:
1. Share your insights. Many of you have a strong sense of loyalty that far surpasses younger generations. If you have been with a company for a while, let your younger cohorts know what has enticed you to stay for the long haul. Also, let HR know what has worked and not worked well in the past so that future colleagues won’t encounter unnecessary hurdles. This is a great way to help your organization attract and retain top talent.
2. Mentor a younger coworker. Meet with your mentee monthly over coffee or lunch. This will help you stay connected with the happenings of the office. Also, you could think about creating a reverse mentorship. While you are meeting with your younger mentee, they may have tricks and trades to help you in your work. It’s a win-win for all.
3. Create a multi-generational conversation. During meetings, encourage collaboration by asking the opinion of someone from every generation. This will show you are open to different views and it will help bridge generational discussion gaps.
4. Not to be too trite, but what will be your personal legacy to your organization? By positively influencing younger workers, your impact on a few key leaders could truly change the culture of your work unit and department, and potentially the organization. Think about how that could not only affect us younger workers, but also our families and communities in the years to come.
Use your experience to build a stronger workplace for all. We Millennials need your help. Thanks for forging the path for the generations following you, and helping us be successful in the future.
Did I tell you that I appreciate you and you are awesome? (You know us Millennials….we are all about affirmation!)