Sonic Boom(er) Retirements to Make a Big Blast

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With waves of baby boomers beginning to retire, we are bound to start seeing the broad societal effects soon -- i.e., overburdened Medicare and Social Security systems, more political pandering to the AARP, etc. But before those kick in, we will see at least some workplaces suffering severe employee withdrawal symptoms.


In some sectors, such as the federal government, the result may be more outsourcing. At least some of those eligible for retirement may opt to keep working. This is largely a good thing, according to this Inc.com article, which cites statistics showing that older workers tend to be more loyal to their employers -- a key consideration considering the high costs associated with turnover.


And older workers -- even those who do retire -- can remain valuable to their employers. One idea, floated at a recent panel discussion mentioned in this ZDNet blog, is to create a virtual innovation network to facilitate contributions by retirees.


Whether your workplace is made up of boomers, youngsters or a generational mix, however, retaining the talented folks is obviously becoming more important than ever.


Here's a scary statistic: According to a recent Robert Half Technology report, 44 percent of workers are likely to leave their jobs for new positions in the next three years. With that in mind, it's even scarier that the same survey found that just 30 percent of hiring managers have a formal retention program.


While salary is a key incentive, it's not the only one, says Robert Half. Employees also welcome professional development opportunities and "soft" benefits such as flexible schedules. Flexibility is deeply ingrained in the corporate culture of some Silicon Valley companies like Netflix, which offers unlimited vacation time to some of its employees.


While Netflix's approach sounds radical, many larger and more traditional companies are also beefing up their benefits. Johnson & Johnson offers an extra week of paid vacation for new parents, for example. As the competition for talented workers intensifies, these kinds of benefits may become the norm rather than the exception.