As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age and leave the workforce, companies have scrambled to deal with the knowledge and skills that will exit, as well. Learning and development has played an integral role in this effort.
In trying to transfer these elements to up-and-coming business leaders who are members of Generation X and Generation Y, it has become imperative that the right educational initiatives are in place — without effective transferal of knowledge and skills across generations, organizations will suffer from a gap or drain.
National Seminars Group, the continuing education division of Rockhurst University, recognizes this potential problem and met it head-on by developing a workshop whose aim is to get vital workplace skills and knowledge out of baby boomers’ heads and into those of future managers and business leaders.
“For the most part, baby boomers are running the U.S. economy,” said Rocky White, vice president of business training and development services. “When they start to retire in 2010, incredible core competencies will walk out the door with them.”
“Because You Believed in Me: Essential Skills – Timeless Principles” is a mentoring leadership certification program offered through the National Seminars Group.
The program was developed using thousands of hours of empirical research on effective leadership, and its goal is to demonstrate to the “Me Generation” how to become the “We Generation.”
It also seeks to adjust the transition baby boomers likely will experience as they exit the workforce.
“Baby boomers are accustomed to being the center of attention, and they often have a tough time passing the baton,” White said. “Their work is their life, unlike Generation X, who works to live.”
Further, he said “Because You Believed in Me: Essential Skills – Timeless Principles” will improve organizations’ chances of surviving the impending baby boomer retirement wave.
“This program helps bridge generational gaps so organizations can ensure the competencies that drive their success and flourish in the years ahead,” White said.
The program will consist of five modules:
- “Leading Others”
- “Serving Others”
- “Mentoring Others”
- “Developing and Inspiring Others”
- “Succession Planning”
Each training module will combine half a day of facilitated learning with half a day of applying what was taught in the session. The goal is to help participants transfer their newly acquired skills to the workplace.
Participants should walk away with some, if not all, these skills:
- Recognizing and rewarding creativity and innovation
- Developing open, productive communication
- Cultivating commitment and loyalty
- Promoting work-life balance
- Delegating responsibilities
- Creating a formal plan to transfer critical knowledge and skills between the generations
Each module can be taken as a stand-alone training session, or participants can take all of them and receive a university-backed certification.