I’ve been working with Dion Leadership consultant and certified retirement coach Kris Lehman over the last several months to considers solutions for what we see as a looming talent crisis. Between these rich, in-depth discussions, I continue to read reputable studies and articles that add new layers of facts, figures, and analysis to my thinking about this critical issue. While a “veritable tidal wave of turnover” (as one analyst called it) may sound hyperbolic, I continue to believe it is an accurate prediction of what organizations will be facing over the next decade. With the economy beginning to rebound as the COVID pandemic recedes, I have identified these factors that are contributing to the likelihood that valuable intellectual capital will being walking out the door of many organization.
1. Baby Boomer Retirements – This is the focus of an article that Kris and I just wrote for CEO World magazine. With approximately 10,000 Boomers reaching the age of 65 every day, the talent-draining impact is indisputable. Our article not only paints a picture of the situation, but it also advises CEOs and talent professionals on the steps they can take to strategically prepare for the exit of these experienced employees. We feel so strongly about the need to address this issue that we developed a Capstone Coaching program to help organizations and individuals thoughtfully and strategically plan for these imminent retirements.
2. Gig Economy – Consulting and freelance work continue to gain momentum as attractive alternatives to the traditional corporate career. A Forbes article recently reported that freelance workers will make up more than half of the U.S. workforce by 2023. With a taste for the convenience of working from home, many employees are likely to be tempted to make the leap. In addition, many of those talented employees who were laid off during pandemic downsizing may have pivoted to gig work and have no intention of returning to a traditional job.
3. Gen Z and Demands for Flexibility – The numbers are shocking. A recent Human Resource Executive article reported that 47% of workers surveyed said that they will likely leave their jobs after the pandemic if they are forced to return to the office full time. And 41% said they would be willing to take a job with a slightly lower salary if it offered a hybrid work-from-home, in-office model. Couple these statistics with what we know about Gen Z and their demands for immediate action, and you can see how organizations are likely to see a mass departure of young people in addition to Baby Boomer retirees.
It’s estimated that nearly three million women have left the labor force over the last year.
4. Women – It’s estimated that nearly three million women have left the labor force over the last year. If or when they might return is a big unanswered question. With persistent pay inequality, sub-par childcare benefits, and rampant discrimination, we may have lost a high percentage of talented women for good. And it may not be over. This Fortune article cites a study that reports one in four women are now considering leaving the workplace or downshifting their careers. Experts warn, “If these trends are left unaddressed, they will exacerbate existing inequalities and reverse decades of progress toward an inclusive economy for women and people of color.”
I hope you agree that any one of these issues deserves our strategic attention as talent professionals, and all four add up to the perfect storm of a talent crisis that has the potential to cripple organizational growth and success over the next decade if we don’t act now.
Beginning to address the first critical item on the talent crisis list, Kris and I (along with Dinsmore attorney James Reid) will be discussing the legal and practical considerations of supporting the aging workforce during our next webinar on April 27. We will explain the talent management trends and offer recommendations for you to get ahead of this predicted “silver tsunami.” I hope you will join us.
We have a wide array of strategies to help you address the post-pandemic workplace and emerge on the other side of this with a strong, engaged workforce. Please reach out to me anytime. I am happy to provide some coaching, recommendations, or perspectives for consideration.
And in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the CEO World magazine article. I welcome your comments or feedback on it.