Baby boomers born in the years right after the Second World War are now reaching the age of retirement, which means they’re leaving the workplace in waves and trading in meetings and client lunches for the spa and the beach. And as these older workers walk out the door, they’ll be taking high levels of responsibility and years of accumulated organizational knowledge with them.

All of your departments may be affected by this trend, and each one—from HR to finance– will need to respond and adapt in unique ways. How will your IT department manage the transition? If you keep these considerations in mind, the shift will be a little easier on everyone.

1. Think ahead.

As in way, way ahead. Don’t wait for your 64 year old department manager to present you with two week’s notice before you start thinking in terms of replacements. Instead, develop a long term staffing strategy that will allow you to train and groom current employees for positions of responsibility two and three degrees away from where they are now. Sure, you may invest some training and attention in a younger employee who may leave the company within a few years, but over the long term, the investment is worth the risk.

2. Start the hand off process soon.

Older employees possess a wealth of knowledge about your company’s data management history, and this knowledge informs your company-wide approach to things like network maintenance and cyber security. Set up a formal or informal mentoring system now and encourage your older workers to make sure those who follow them fully understand why certain decisions were made and how various implementations have taken place (or are currently taking place.)

3. Involve older workers in staffing decisions.

Loop older workers into hiring and workforce shaping decisions. Do you really need five new employees to handle a given task or could you manage with three? Should you hire this candidate or that one? Should you choose this product/contract over that one? Ask for input and bring older workers into the interview process. They have a unique perspective on what it takes to contribute to your IT department and thrive in your company culture.

The staffing pros at Expert can help you keep your workforce strong as older team members step into retirement. Contact our office for a consultation today.

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