The 'Mass Exodus' of Boomers in the Workplace Has Caused Millennials to Rethink Their Work Norms

a group of women pointing at a laptop


Max Marvelous for Wealth of Geeks
Max Marvelous for Wealth of Geeks
April 25, 2024 at 1:22AM UTC
Boomers are retiring in large numbers. Many of them have exited the workforce to spend time with their families, travel, and enjoy their golden years. This mass exodus has caused younger workers to open their minds, and finally, to the wisdom of the older generation.
With succession plans looming for many companies Millennials and Gen Xers are asking more questions than usual. Thankfully, many Boomers are more than willing to help the younger workers expand their knowledge about their respective industries.

Boomers have knowledge and expertise.

In partnership with Express Employment Professionals, and covered by Supply Chain Dive, 59% of Boomer employees have shared much or all of the knowledge needed to perform their job responsibilities with their younger counterparts. In the office, Baby Boomers are more likely to feel knowledgeable (66%), and younger employees view their older coworkers as having valuable knowledge (61%), people they can learn from (48%), and role models (43%).

But will it make a difference?

Despite the acknowledgment of the importance of knowledge sharing, more than a quarter of Baby Boomers (27%) reportedly say that the day-to-day processes within their organization change so often that the knowledge they have to contribute may be irrelevant by the time they retire.

Wisdom is in the eye of the beholder.

These opinions, however, seem to be one-sided. 84% of U.S, employees claim that it is a significant loss when their Baby Boomer coworkers retire without sharing their years of knowledge. Even with the rapid evolution of internal processes, it seems younger employees may still benefit from the sharing of experiences and wisdom that older coworkers have to offer.

The slow fade dilemma.

Express Employment conducted a poll in April that showed 78% of workers between the ages of 57-75 would rather remain only semi-retired than abandoning the workforce entirely. The issue with this slow fade strategy is that only 21% of the reported workers' employers offer semi-retirement as an option.

To teach or not to teach.

Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller had this to say: “Every generation brings value to the workforce, and time is running out to enact knowledge succession plans for these senior employees.”
This acknowledgment of the potential wisdom that can be passed from Baby Boomers to younger employees will hopefully inspire employers all over the country to enact knowledge succession plans within their workforce to ensure that new employees are not left floundering in the wake of retiring seniors.
This article originally appeared in Wealth of Geeks.

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