Generation Silver: the other face of labor inclusion

The generation born between 1945 and 1964, commonly known as Baby Boomers but also labeled Generation Silver or simply Seniors, it is gradually becoming the focus of attention in inclusive contexts. Let’s see what the reasons are.

“Now I want to enjoy”, “I feel full”, “I am spending time doing what I like”, “I spend time with my grandchildren and I fully enjoy them”, “every year, a trip to an unknown place”: fullness, health, energy, spirituality, new interests, enjoyment, quality of life, fun, are the concepts that the Silver Generation proposes today in their stories and in the way they want to face life.

Again, this generation is creating a new revolution, just as it happened in their youth. For what is this? Life expectancy grew by more than 30 years in little more than a century, changing the demographic mix of the planet, populated more and more by older people. In fact, for the first time in human history, in the past decade the number of people over the age of 65 has outnumbered children under the age of 5. This new group of large and healthy people proposes another way of life, has new habits and forms a new class of consumers..

The good news

the visionary peter druckeryears ago, wisely defined it: “In the future, from a historical perspective, This time will not be distinguished by technology, by the Internet, but by the unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time in human history, people have options and decide.”

Here is the good news for my generation, that of the Baby Boomers: on the one hand, due to the extension of life expectancy, for the first time in history, people will have 20 to 30 years of productive adult life, with grown children. On the other hand, this generation faces this new stage with energy, health and a lot of capacity.

But as if this were not enough, all of this is happening just at a time when the world is going through major changes in work, in business models and in how companies are organized, enabling another way to contribute. An alignment of opportunities: capable adults with energy and autonomy in a world with new opportunities.

A new group of consumers

Those between 55 and 75 years old are generating great changes in society, just as during their youth. Being young, they defined the cultural agenda and today they do it again when they retire from the central position at work.

– There are many: 72 million in the US, 15 in Great Britain, 9 in Canada, 8 in Argentina, constituting a new group of consumers.

– They are a large part of the population: for example, 30% of the US population.

– While before women lived longer (and it was common to see many large women alone), currently the male-female curve is being matched

– 72% of that group continues to work after retiring.

These are people who become great and refuse to abandon the values ​​of their generation. In this Second Era, you redefine what it means to “become great”.

Values ​​that stand firm

Many of the values ​​of this generation in its youth remain firm and revitalize in the Second Era, which is really a second youth:

– It is important to enjoy and feel good giving importance to health care and looking for situations to enjoy.

– As young people they were revolutionaries and changed the rules in all fields. Today the same thing happens and they again generate a paradigm shift: getting older is enjoying more.

– With more free time, a greater possibility of enjoyment is generated. They choose to work less to enjoy more.

– They feel 40 years old and dress and act like 40 years. “Youth is in you”.

– They are productive, many earning money, others generating significant contributions.

– In this second youth they face a time of exploration, travel, adventure and in many cases they return to the classroom and update themselves.

The Silvers redefine and resignify everything around them: how they see themselves, their relationship with their children, their relationship with their grandchildren and, obviously, also their relationship with work.

How do the Silvers work?

The stroke curve is redefined. What is a racing curve? It is the intensity with which one works at different moments of life, linked to the complexity of the task and the dedication of time that it imposes.

The career curve in traditional races marked growth over the years until reaching positions of higher hierarchy. Suddenly, retirement or retirement took this career curve to zero. The Seniors redefine that curve and generate a bell pattern: on the rise, increased growth and complexity with a peak around age 50, and then a career slowdown. This slowdown brings with it another difference: it is often generated by the person himself and not driven by the company where he works. In short, the Silvers continue to work but not in the same way.

What are the questions that are asked when they seek to change the way they work for one that allows them to enjoy more? According to Tamara Erickson, there are five themes:

– Dedication time: How long do I want to work? How do I want that time to be distributed?

– Swing: What pressure do I want to work with? I am looking for a quiet job that respects my time or I value a frenetic activity, with a lot of adrenaline.

– Economic reality: Do I need to work to generate income? What income am I comfortable with?

– Challenges: What level of challenge am I looking for? I want to work on something that pushes me to learn and creates tension or I prefer the comfort zone, and take advantage of things that I know well and have experience with.

– Responsibility: What level of responsibility am I looking for? I value complexity and the weight of responsibility, or I seek tranquility and “feel light”.

The contribution of the experience of the Silver Generation will enrich the interdisciplinary and intergenerational teams. For this, it is necessary to encourage the generation of truly inclusive work contexts

In the Second Time, they redefine their strategy and make decisions related to the allocation of their time and energy. The definitions are personal and there is no specific pattern. The general situation is that a definition. For the first time in his life, the Senior / Baby Boomer feels that the expression “must before want” does not represent him anymore and that he can choose where to put his energy.

For organizations, the possibility of capturing the Silver generation presents a great opportunity: take advantage of their high level of education, their energy and their emotional stability.

The contribution of their experience will enrich interdisciplinary and intergenerational teams. For it, it is necessary to encourage the generation of truly inclusive work contexts. An example of this is, for example, the Sixty-year Program launched by Unilever in 2021, with the aim of taking advantage of Senior Talent. The Second Time of the Silver Generation poses a great challenge to organizations.


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