Baby Boomers are coming to the points in their careers where some are starting to step down or retire in favor of having a Gen X-er or a Millennial replace them. If you are in charge of a Baby Boomer, keep in mind that they have likely been in the workforce a lot longer than you have and expect a certain degree of respect. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you’re managing a Baby Boomer.
Baby Boomers are used to structure, and they prefer it as a way of accomplishing things. When you’re asking your Baby Boomer to finish or complete certain tasks, make sure you communicate the preferred milestones you want for the project. This will help them manage their time effectively and figure out how much extra time would need to be dedicated to each project. They will also appreciate the structure because it will reinforce their need to be at work during that particular time as opposed to leaving early or going on vacation.
Make Yourself Available
Baby Boomers prioritize face-to-face relationships over any other type of interaction, including phone, e-mail, text, conference call, etc. If you are managing a Baby Boomer, you will need to make yourself available on an in-person basis for them to really feel connected and like they’re able to make an impact.
When you make yourself available in-person, you’re reinforcing for them that they’re an integral part of the workforce without whom you wouldn’t be able to survive. They will be able to ask you questions and tout their accomplishments, and they would much rather do this in person than by any other means of communication.
Remind Them to Relax
Baby Boomers are used to working themselves to the core. If you’re managing a Baby Boomer, remind them to relax and stress the importance of work-life balance. This isn’t something they will like or necessarily want to do, but try to suggest it as a reward for their hard work.
Though most will be reluctant to accept the acknowledgment, this is something you need to be aware of as a Baby Boomer manager. You ultimately want your employees to be happy and healthy; this is one small way you can aid this effort. If they could have it their way, Baby Boomers would work as much as humanly possible. As a Baby Boomer manager, you are responsible for helping them balance their strong work-ethic and your company’s needs.
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