Iron Laws of Demographics

As predictably as planetary orbits, pundits are now saying that the economic crisis has transformed the employment strategies of Millennials.  You remember yesterday’s meme about this cohort: no fixed career path, multiple employers, frequent job hopping, zero loyalty.  Today, research shows (of course) that the number of 20 somethings who expect to spend a lifetime with a single employer has risen sharply.  In the snapshot in time department, this definitely falls into the “oh, really?” category.

None of us particularly loved the war for talent (1997-2001) and certainly the basketball court in the cafeteria phase stands out as ludicrous, but employers who think they can take the nurture of employees off  their priority list would be making a big mistake.  That’s because nothing has abolished the iron laws of demographics.  Yes, Baby Boomers may stay in the workforce longer than they had planned, but we are fast approaching the point where the available supply of Gen Xers with talent is overwhelmed by the number of  leadership positions vacated by departing Boomers.  Since leadership talent correlates strongly with corporate performance, now is definitely not the time to roll back performance-based compensation, career-pathing and effective employee motivation and communications.  In fact, it might even be worth looking at your benefits package to see how well it serves the 35-45 year old life stage of your employee base.


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