Why employers should take note of the 'Grey Tsunami' - Insights

Why employers should take note of the ‘Grey Tsunami’


grey tsunamiThere is a tsunami headed our way. Actually, it happens each year as more and more Baby Boomers turn 65 – roughly 3.2 million Boomers annually in the US and many more globally. (Baby Boomers were born between 1946-1964, by the way.)

The Grey Tsunami – Baby Boomers aged 55-75 – are one of the most overlooked groups and I have absolutely no idea why. For one thing, there are so many of us; we make up 40% of the U.S., population!

We bring tremendous HUMAN CAPITAL to the table. So, as I read and listen to reports about the impending job crisis, companies fearful of losing employees who wish to remain remote and are willing to leave jobs to do so, my question is this: why not tap into the Grey Tsunami? Baby Boomers have been there done that; launched successful careers and businesses, and are very much active professionally. Why not? There are so many of us – 78 million strong.

Forget the ageism nonsense; just focus on your bottom line. There are so many examples of ‘Boomers’ “killing It” in corporate America; here I refer to the recent Forbes’ article, 50 Over 50. The article features amazing women over 50 who have launched successful companies, realized their dream positions, and are leaving their marks across all industries. They are still engaged and have so much to offer. You want receipts? Check their balance sheets. And, many ‘Boomers’ have and are making professional changes, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic (quarantine forces you to rethink life and what matters) because, financially we can.

I have friends in their Sixties who have recently launched businesses, returned to former industry to reopen hotels and/or identified opportunities resulting from the lock down. One friend even launched an Ecological Restoration consultancy after decades in the field (shout out to Adams Eco LLC). For them, this is just the beginning of another chapter and opportunity to realize goals and continue the work they love. They got it going on.

Still not convinced?

Here are some of the ways in which the Grey Tsunami could assist you during this time of reentry into the workforce, and address the need for HUMAN CAPITAL:

  • C-Suite –  To change a corporate culture is to inject leadership, empathy, life experience, skill set, connectivity and results.  But in a manner that is INCLUSIVE, reaching across the generational divide.  Look beyond your industry and sector to ‘Boomers’ who bring the aforementioned and more from other industries.
  • Thought Leadership – who better to lead a transitional team to engage in a new era of business (hybrid/work/life balance) than a Boomer? To teach the young-uns how to reset, pivot and recover in an ever-changing economy.
  • Growth and Expansion (Business Development)- want to expand your client roster, portfolio and/or reach? Engage a ‘Boomer.’ You see, ‘Boomers’ understand how to convey and deliver an organization’s value proposition. They possess the tools required to cultivate long-term, revenue-generating relationships – translation, NEW BUSINESS!
  • Strategy – What is your company culture in the post-pandemic, hybrid/virtual world, and economy? Well, consider that ‘Boomers’ have lived through and survived several economic crises: Dotcom bust, Great Recession, 9/11 and now a pandemic. We rebounded and recovered; made our way through several crises in recent history and uncovered a new way of conducting business that generated revenue. ‘Boomers’ understand the “pivot,” and are equipped to assist your team in the wake of crises.
  • Development – All sectors; including my own, hospitality and real estate. Why not tap into the valuable assets (networks) of ‘Boomers’ who have and are still engaged in all aspects of development? We know where the funding is and can tap into it rather quickly. You want to expand? Call on a ‘Boomer.’
  • Sales /Marketing– who better to represent your product/organization than a ‘Boomer’ who can create a strategy to reach your targets? You know, the Grey Tsunami posse? And build long-lasting relationships your organization can literally take to the bank!
  • Startups – Tech could use an infusion of Grey Tsunami expertise; we launched businesses without VC’s (no shade to VC’s) raised much needed capital based on strategy, thought leadership, proven track-records, and carefully structured pro forma that clearly define ROI and distribution. Why not add a ‘seasoned Boomer’ to the pitch deck and pitch meeting? And then put us to work!

You get my point? What I am trying to convey is as you reopen your offices and resume business in sectors such as:  beauty, fashion, digital marketing, finance, hospitality, manufacturing (goods and services), real estate, sports, technology et al, do not overlook very valuable human capital, the Grey Tsunami (Baby Boomers). If you want to truly integrate diversity into your company culture, include ‘Boomers’ who can enhance the culture, bring value and measurable results. Most of all, provide mentorship and leadership to your teams. Your clients and employees will thank you; Board of Directors, investors and constituents will cheer you on.

Now here is where I will state what is not politically correct and or said; Grey is cool. We are physically fit, i.e., surfing, yoga, running, and hiking are just a few activities we enjoy.  We are engaging and professionally on point. Loyal, committed, supportive, creative, and forward-thinking. We are not your Grandmother’s Grey Tsunami; we’ve got game!

If you have not figured it out by now, I too am a ‘Boomer’ embarking upon a new next professional chapter. I have gone through several and thank God, I’m fully engaged and doing my part to promote the value of the U.S.’, and frankly the world’s most underserved and overlooked population – Baby Boomers! For me, it is a ‘Boom thing’. Get onboard – there are more than 78 million of us are waiting for you, along with new business and revenue!

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