Retaining Trusted Traditionalists (originally published November 2006)

Loyal, hardworking and faithful to institutions, Traditionalists (born c. 1925-1945) are a vital resource for any organization. As evidenced by the demand for this generation’s knowledge and expertise during Y2K, many employers can’t afford to lose them just yet. That’s a good thing, since Traditionalists are willing to work past retirement if offered flexible schedules or project based employment.

Successful companies are finding innovative ways to retain and leverage older workers while planning longer-term succession strategies. Here is how you can get started.
  • Pair Traditionalist mentors with younger workers to transfer knowledge to the next generation
  • Create alternative retirement programs that allow Traditionalists part-time work
  • Train Traditionalists on new technology to update their skill sets
  • Include Traditionalist perspectives in your strategic planning by placing them in advisory roles or on advisory boards
  • Implement an intranet resource (a “Wikipedia” for your company) where Traditionalists can document knowledge and expertise
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