2022 Retirement Wave, Prepare to Fill the GapsSierra Fishman
This year is expected to have a record number of Americans retiring. Several factors are driving this retirement surge, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Two million more workers retired during the pandemic than trends predicted. An estimated 50.3% of adults aged 55 and over left the workforce in the third quarter of 2021. Although these numbers have started to recover, it remains unclear how many baby boomers will continue employment or eventually retire in 2022.
With millions of baby boomers retiring sooner rather than later, employers will need a strong workforce plan for replacing existing workers. If trends continue in the same direction your company will likely have workforce gaps that need to be filled without the talent to suffice. Filling the holes will be challenging while the ranks of the Gen X workers are simply not enough and many millennials lack tenure.
As more Americans retire, there will be a shift in the workforce and how we work. As tenured staff walks out the door, the loss of institutional knowledge and wisdom goes with them, draining industries. On the bright side, the retirement boom presents an opportunity for younger workers to step into leadership roles and take on more responsibility. On the other hand, retirees gain the opportunity to “give back” by mentoring the next generation and sharing their expertise.
What can you do to prepare for the retirement wave?
1. Create an exit strategy for older employees. This can benefit your company if an employee is a top performer. A slow transition allows you to prepare a replacement without the shock that comes with a sudden retirement.
2. Develop your workforce and support mentoring programs.
3. Continue educating and training your workforce to steadily be prepared for the loss of high-level employees. Develop knowledge-sharing and training programs.
4. Utilize professional contract staff to fill gaps while you find permanent employees. Benefits include:
- Reduced long-term labor costs
- Shorter hiring process
- Instant impact
- Flexibility: Hiring a contractor gives you the option of evaluating whether you have a long-term job requirement in a function.
Eventually, you are going to need workers to replace the baby boomer employees who are retiring. The sooner you start exploring your options and planning, the better prepared you and your organization will be.