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IPMA-HR 2016 Benchmarking Survey Results Suggest Ways to Manage a Multigenerational Workforce

Tags:  (2017 Jan 11th - 6:32pm)

The long-forecast silver tsunami may never hit. Baby boomers, unable to afford retirement, are holding on to their jobs for ever-greater lengths, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This has placed some tension on government human resources professionals, as they are pulled in several opposing directions by having to manage the needs of employees of wide- ranging ages. This is the topic that IPMA-HR 2016 Benchmarking Survey tackled, and this article presents a few of the most actionable findings.

The most recent benchmark survey was sent to 7,499 IPMA-HR members’ employees and produced a 48 percent response rate. Among respondents, 31 percent are millennials (born 1981-1997), 33 percent are in Generation X (born 1965-1980) and 36 percent are baby boomers (born 1946-1964).

Caring about attracting and retaining diverse generations is of critical importance, as we are in a crunch for labor. Since the Great Recession of 2008, according to BLS data, U.S. national labor force participation has declined steadily in every sector. It hit its lowest overall point of 62.8 percent in July 2016. Interestingly, this decline is not being fueled by baby boomers retiring. Instead, potential workers between the ages of 16 and 24 are not entering the workforce, and more prime-age workers are leaving the workforce.

To learn more about how to recruit and retain public sector employees from the Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations, please view the full 2016 Cross-generational Benchmark Report.

Melissa Paluch is IPMA-HR’s research manager. She can be reached at