Is Your Business Ready to Ride the “Silver Tsunami”?

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by | Oct 24, 2018

Industry experts have described the quickly approaching retirement of baby boomers as the Silver Tsunami. Reports indicate the manufacturing sector could lose up to 40% of its skilled employees by 2024 (Industry Week, 2018).

Eighty percent of companies acknowledge this is an issue, but less than 31% are actively taking steps to counteract the problem. It is estimated that there will be a 5-Million-person shortage for qualified jobs in the United States by 2026. [Source: Senate Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate Report 2017]

Reports also show that most manufacturers are not ready for this turnover—many don’t have succession or management plans in place to deal with high numbers of retiring employees, or those that decide to stay in the workforce past normal retirement age.


Although it’s unclear how many, some senior employees may stay on longer than anticipated to help defray spiking health care and living costs. But …

  • If they do leave, is your business ready to lose valuable employees who offer years of institutional and manufacturing knowledge?
  • Who will replace them? How will your business continue?
  • If they stay, what is your plan to help them remain current with manufacturing and technological breakthroughs, advance their skills, and train younger employees?


What does this mean for your business? If you aren’t prepared, losing a large portion your skilled workforce could mean backlogs of work, decreases in quality, and unsatisfied customers. Industry experts encourage manufactures to engage with and recruit younger workers now to learn the ropes and learn from skilled, experienced employees.

Do you have a succession plan?

Are you prepared to hand the ropes over to new employees? Here are some tips that can position you toward success:

  • Talk to key personnel NOW.
  • Learn about their retirement plans – when are they expecting to retire? Or do they want to go part time? Or keep status quo?
  • Understand their skill sets and how they are successful at their jobs. Work with them to create a process and training plan to transfer this invaluable knowledge to new/current employees.

Learn More – Register Today for Important Information Session

Want to learn more about how your business can prepare for the Silver Tsunami? Register now for Polaris MEP’s newest event “Solving the Aging Workforce Crisis with Job Instruction” to be held March 14, 2019, 7:30-9:30am, at Polaris MEP office (315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, 02908).

This presentation will familiarize you with an effective training process called Job Instruction, part of the Training Within Industry program developed in the 1940s to support the war effort. This proven systematic method reduces training times by 50%, provides a process for capturing employee knowledge, and strongly supports increased knowledge retention in trainees. Data from a detailed case study will be shared supporting the proven track record of this program. Don’t delay – register now!

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