When baby boomers—people born in the 1950s and 1960s—start retiring in droves, companies will find themselves facing a talent void that will be hard to fill.
Studies show that companies could lose more than half of their senior managers in the next three years to retirement. Yet many CEOs and senior leaders are unprepared to deal with that possibility, writes Eric Herzog in his new book, Future Leaders.
One of Herzog's suggested remedies is phased retirements: If Baby Boomers ease themselves out of the workforce by working part time, organizations will be better able to prepare younger workers to replace them.
Companies will also be struggling to fill technical and line-management positions, Herzog predicts. These demographics could have a troubling effect on supply chain management. COSTCO Wholesale Corporation prepared for that eventuality by creating "COSTCO University." The book details how the store chain established a structure for experienced warehouse managers to teach best practices, leadership, and problem-solving skills to other employees. As a result, COSTCO developed a pool of new managers from within its own ranks— enough to allow the company to keep up with normal attrition rates while opening 40 new locations.
Future Leaders can be purchased at www.atlasbooks.com.
Editor's Note: CSCMP's 2007 Annual Conference will feature an address by Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, on the business impact of an aging workforce and consumer base.
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