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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Source), it is projected that almost 25% of the workforce will be comprised of employees over the age of 55 by 2026. What does this mean for employers? It could mean a staffing shortage if you have not planned appropriately. Even worse, it could mean a huge loss of knowledge for your business. Succession planning and preparation are essential for today’s employers.

Below are some key items to include in your long-term human capital strategy to prepare:

Evaluate your existing staff

Make projections about possible retirement. If your employees work longer than you project, you will be in good shape. But if they don’t and you have not prepared, you may have a big problem!

Create a training and knowledge transfer program

Ensure valuable information, “tribal knowledge”, about your business is not lost when employees retire. Documentation can’t replace one-on-one training and mentoring.

Integrate succession planning into your long-term business strategy

Succession planning should be a collaborative process among HR, Training & Development, and Management staff. The best succession plans are not created in a vacuum.

Don’t wait until the last minute!

2026 might sound like a long time from now, but it is less than 10 years away! Many of us remember when Prince sang about 1999 and everyone was buzzing about Y2K. Both seemed like forever away and now are 17+ years in the past!

Use the above list as a starting point, but this is certainly not an all-encompassing list. Thorough succession planning and creating a long-term human capital strategy are very large undertakings. These are just some points to keep in mind since the number of employees over age 55, by 2026, is projected to be even greater than what we saw in 2016! And 2016 took many employers by surprise!

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