Network - Winter 2011 - (Page 22)

O Feature Leading Through the Gap Generational Differences t’s no secret that we have a generational gap in this country that is widening each year. Companies have seen the widening gap emerge for the past several years, and can expect to see it continue through the next decade. According to a 2006 report, the median age of the population will continue to increase significantly in the next five years: Year 1990 2005 2015 Median Age 27 41 50 Understanding and Leading Through I By Judy Johnson, Ph.D., and Laura Methot, Ph.D. participation of those age 55 to 64 will double. At the same time, a Statistics Canada report commissioned by The Alliance of Sector Councils (TASC), entitled “The Aging Workforce and Human Resources Development Implications For Sector Councils, 2003,” showed that Canadians were retiring younger while young people are staying in school longer and entering the labour market later. The retirement trend has stabilized with the average retirement age for Canadians holding steady in the 61-62 year range since 2000. A report by the Conference Board of Canada anticipates an exodus of baby boomers from the labour market starting 2014 and continuing through 2028. (Canadian outlook Long-Term Economic Forecast: 2010, The Conference Board of Canada, March 2010). These reports show a trend toward an older workforce and a delay in the younger generation entering the workforce for the next several years followed by retirements at an unprecedented level. Taken together, they foreshadow an increasing gap in experience and knowledge transfer from generation to generation. As so many organizations find that their “go to” people are retiring, they also see that the new generation of employees seem less knowledgeable, less motivated, and less committed than their more experienced counterparts. The TASC report reflects what many managers express, stressing that retention of baby boomer workers past age 60 will become an important strategy in order to maintain important skills, experience and corporate knowledge and to mitigate impending labour shortages. But, are younger employees really less motivated, or have leaders’ expectations been shaped by an environment saturated with more experienced, longer-tenured employees? Are younger employees really less knowledgeable or is the gap magnified in comparison with the strong, experienced, committed boomers that have long dominated the work environment? While there are clear distinctions between generations, we must be careful not to assume that hard-wired generational differences rather than their experiences, has helped shape them. Source: Looking-Ahead: A 10-Year Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market (2006-2015), Human Resource and Skills Development Canada, In addition, the same report projects that while the percentage of the labour force age 25-54 will remain relatively stable from 2005 to 2015, the 22 O

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Winter 2011

HRIA Chair’s Message By Todd den Engelsen, CHRP
Succession Management: Part of a Culture of Excellence By Eitan Sharir
Helping Leaders Emerge By Wayne Ormond and Stephanie Paquet
The Missing Ingredients in SUCCESSion Planning By Laura Hambley, Chad Hayward and Eloise Moodie
Understanding and Leading Through Generational Differences By Judy Johnson and Laura Methot
Top 7 Reasons Why Succession Planning Fails By Jim Moore
Ask Field Law / Index of Advertisers

Network - Winter 2011