Are you ready to tap into encore employees? That’s the label author Marci Alboher puts on 50+ year olds’ who are re-positioning themselves in the workforce, often morphing from one career identity to another.
In The Encore Career Handbook she points out the myriad of challenges and opportunities that await them. Some will need retaining and just about all of them will need to get used to the idea of being managed by someone who is younger and less seasoned than they are. Big adjustments await everyone involved.
But companies that do tap into their experience will be rewarded. Encores represent a newfound dimension of talent and perspective. They possess time-tested know how and they understand the connection between people and businesses better than younger workers do. They bring a welcomed level of maturity and personal responsibility to the table.
But before you add them to the fold you need to ask yourself if your recognition program is geared to unleashing that potential. Part of the answer lies in understanding what motivates older workers.
Start by recognizing their contributions as “leadership in action”. Celebrate the value of their experience and wisdom—even if it was gathered someplace else. This will flatter them and assure them that they are wanted where they are.
You should also reward them when they give back; something that may take a little coaxing until they get comfortable. Applaud their efforts to mentoring younger employees and don’t hesitate to point out any of their extra efforts—you will compliment them by noticing and at the same time reinforce the value sets germane to their generation.
This advice also works, by the way, for companies looking to retain older workers—those who may be straying emotionally as they envision their careers ending. Be forewarned: Many boomers are contemplating the next phase of their work lives now and you should use your recognition program to show them that their work is still fascinating and appreciated.
Presented by: Mike Ryan, SVP, Marketing & Client Strategy
A strong and respected brand is one of the most valuable assets a company has. Marketing leaders invest millions on building (and protecting) their brand’s reputation. But while most businesses allocate resources to the external marketplace they have largely ignored internal audiences. When you consider that the authenticity of any brand is dependent on the company’s employees, and that satisfied customers are worth significantly more, this is a missed opportunity for any business.
No discipline is more committed to the development and optimization of its workforce than the HR team, but how does that focus translate to aiding marketing in their quest for a more authentic brand?
The authenticity of any brand—its perception of being genuine, legitimate and trustworthy—is directly dependent on the willingness of the company’s employees to act and deliver in a manner that is consistent with customer expectations.
This webinar will outline the influence employee behavior has on profits; outline the construct of a brand’s promise and the dependency it has on employee behaviors and outline why HR represents an untapped alley to marketers looking to strengthen their brand’s reputation and authenticity within the marketplace.
Specifically, Mike will:
- Talk about the development and execution of employee recognition programs designed to strengthen the brand.
- Outline some of the design considerations and explain how to leverage the core components of recognition systems for maximum efficiency.
- And he will recommend ways to augment your measurement and reporting resources for better integration with marketing’s broader business agenda.
A recent blurb published by The Atlantic warned that half of current workers won’t be able to retire at 65. According to research cited by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research most people (86 percent) will have to wait until they are 70 or older to pack it in.
What does this mean for business? Employers will continue to feature multiple generations in the workplace. And in addition to the diverse skills and experience they bring to the table, the wide ranges of attitudes toward the company (and each other) will also be influenced by generational values.
Employers that wish to attract and retain the best from both worlds should reengineer their recognition messaging now to align communications and awards to the employee’s sense of what matters.
The right technology makes it easy to address all age groups. Recognition tools enable smart organizations to apply tailored messages with efficiency and precision by enabling a “direct marketing” approach to communicating with their employees. As a result, the messages are relevant, instep with the employee’s personal ideals and are highly effective at reinforcing the employer-employee value proposition across generational lines.
It’s equally important to have a wide range of award choices that allow all employees—no matter their age or interests—to find something compelling about your offer.
We are entering a new era; one featuring a workforce that adds new age groups to the diversity equation. Companies that want to win the war for talent across the generational spectrum should think of a properly designed recognition program as its first and biggest weapon.
My oldest son graduates from college this weekend, leaving the University of Massachusetts with two degrees in hand; one in Sound Recording Technologies and another in Economics.
UMass has prepared him well for the workforce. As a matter of fact, he already has a job lined up working as an audio engineer in one of those big production trucks you see outside of nationally televised sporting events.
But as I watch him take his first career steps, the “employee recognition obsessed” dad in me also wonders how prepared his employer will be to motivate and engage him—and the rest of this new generation of workers.
Here are two things to keep in mind when planning recognition strategies aimed at this next generation of employees.
- They come from the trophy generation where everyone was a winner. As a result they will see coworkers in a non-competitive light. Get them to work on a shared project early and recognize their involvement as part of a group. They will value that experience as much as any individual acknowledgement and will begin to see themselves fitting in much faster. A hint here: set the goals but don’t dictate the process and you will get better buy-in and outcomes.
- This group sees learning as a reward in and of itself. Accomplishments and achievements celebrated in the context of having mastered a skill or having bettered prepared for a brighter future will be highly impactful.
My son and the rest of his generational allies will change jobs a lot in their first few years of employment as they search for a good fit. But employers can buck that trend by appealing to their values. Those that do will be rewarded with loyal and productive employees for generations to come.
Fifty three years ago today Peggy and Dan Ryan welcomed the second of what would eventually be three sons into the world.
Dan was a banker. And although he would rise from the ranks of teller to manage branch operations he would toil at the same bank over a 40 year career. Peggy, like most women of her era, was a stay-at-home housewife. She ventured back into the job market in her early 30s landing a bookkeeping job with the phone company where she would perform the same functions, every day, for the next quarter century.
While we boomers grew up in households that valued job stability, our views on work have evolved over time. Our parents saw a “good job” as something you held onto for life—it was their ticket to a comfortable lifestyle and a secure retirement.
As for me, I have had my share of career turns. I started in the airline industry, wandered into software sales and eventually found my calling in the employee recognition business. Like all the other boomers that define my generation we have mixed feelings on the issue of employer/employee loyalty. While we respect the concept of longevity with one employer it’s not what drives us—at least not any more anyway. Now we insist on working relationships that are mutually beneficial—based on respect and defined by roles that fit our skills and value sets. In plain English; if we feel that we are treated with dignity and are doing things that are interesting and important then we are all in. If not, we can get restless—and in spite of our advancing years—we will contemplate moving on.
So what should companies do to keep boomers energized and focused? Start by recognizing their contributions and their importance to you. Remind them that success has been (and will always be) a two way proposition—for them and the company. This will reinforce their ongoing desire to matter—to stay involved in something that’s vital and vibrant.
As we get older some of us get busy inventorying our lives. That’s only natural. In an ideal world, your boomers will be looking at their current working relationship as one of the best things that has ever happened to them. Chances are if you recognize them and their efforts, they will continue to feel that way for many more birthdays to come.