Business 101: 1 Workaholic Boomer = 3 Saner Young Employees

January 21, 2008

As workaholic baby boomers retire it will take three “saner” young employees to do the work of one boomer. This generation of older workers trapped for three decades in the spoiled-employer-centred captive workforce have been under the very real threat of job loss through restructuring and cutbacks, watching helplessly as shell-shocked co-workers were escorted by security to the door with a cardboard box holding personal belongings, years of experience and institutional memory in their hands. The if-you-don’t-like-it-you-can-leave management style is being answered back by a younger generation with a demographic advantage who are unwilling to be bullied into unhealthy habits of long hours and stressful unrealistic expectations, unperturbed by threats of layoffs and more knowledgeable about boundaries concerning their rights and responsibilities as employees. See Hickman (2008 ).

“If ‘spoiled employers’ don’t wake up to the new reality, they will lose their most valuable assets — employees, a prominent workplace expert warns. Susan Hickman reports. Ontario employers trail western provinces in adapting to a generational shift that is transforming the labour market, warns a leading workplace researcher. And if the private sector “doesn’t get it,” it will find itself replaced by new companies that respect the changing wants and attitudes of young employees, says professor Linda Duxbury of Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. Young newcomers to the workforce don’t put their priority on money or “getting ahead.” If they’re not happy with their work, they’ll quit and many will conveniently move back in with their parents (Hickman 2008 ).”

Linda Duxbury, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

Hickman, Susan. 2008. “‘Times are a-changing’ for bosses.” The Ottawa Citizen. January 19. http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/business/story.html?id=77755a94-b399-4762-ba00-69522ab96ce7

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2008. Google Docs. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddp3qxmz_503g42r34ch

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