A Q&A with Larry Dawson, vice-president, marketing Accu-Time Systems
Human Capital Management (HCM) has had to evolve as the employment demographic in retail has changed. The workforce is aging, and scheduling and benefit requirements are changing as this is taking place. Companies need to have the ability to handle the HCM tasks by incorporating the latest technologies and accessing real data. Additionally, it is up to the HCM solution providers to realize how these changes are affecting the workforce, and enable the retailers to still accomplish their goals in a productive, efficient manner.
Q: The first of the baby boom generation is beginning to retire. How has this demographic changed workforce management practices in the last few years?
A: There is a “graying” occurring of the world’s workforce. That eager and ambitious generation of people, born between 1946 and 1964, and willing to take on big problems and create big solutions, now represents our oldest workers. As boomers have navigated their careers, and are now beginning to end them, they have had a significant impact on workforce management practices and philosophies. Added to this outflow of our most experienced workers is a drop in birthrates in first- and second-world countries. In the United States, the population of people aged 18 to 64 is shrinking. In Germany, it is predicted that the active workforce will have shrunk nearly 30% by 2050.
In the Western world, life expectancy is predicted to rise steadily to 78 in 2020, and to 82 in 2050. At current death rates, one in five Americans will be 65 or older by 2030. In many industries, nearly half of their workforces will retire in the next 10 to 12 years. But another dynamic being set up by boomers is what some call a “plateau” model of retirement. For several decades a “cliff” retirement model existed, whereby people completely stopped working at a certain age. But with people living longer, healthcare and retirement costs rising beyond the rate of income appreciation, and people remaining fit and capable of working into their 60s, more people are choosing to continue working at reduced hours. Some retire from their career employer and assume part time work for an industry in which they are interested, or for one with reduced stress.