This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Super-Agers Part 2

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 10, 2009

Older Employees' Better Coping Skills Mean Better Engagement

Our younger workers are most affected by the current economic crisis even as our older employees are able to handle the trials of this difficult economic time. These findings were recently reported in a study by Boston College's Sloan Center on Aging & Work.

Few would dispute that this economic crisis is the worst the United States has experienced since the Great Depression. According to this new report, "The Difference a Downturn Can Make", part of the Centerís Age & Generations Study, this situation has negatively altered perceptions about job security, supervisor support, job quality, inclusion, and overall employee engagement in the workplace.

As businesses strive to "get lean" and increase productivity, US workers (like their counterparts worldwide) are reporting they are overloaded. Related to these findings, employees of all ages reported a decrease in employee engagement, "a measure of how invested and enthusiastic employees are in their work". While employees overall reported declining engagement, older workers polled appeared to be handling the economic storm better than their younger associates.

Workers in "Generation Y", ages 26 and younger, reported the greatest decrease in engagement, followed by those slightly older workers in "Generation X", ages 27 to 42. Concurrently, the reported levels of engagement for Baby Boomers and "Traditionalists", ages 43 and older, hardly changed at all.

Drawing on hard-earned experiences from the past and a time-tested perspective on the ups and downs of the economy, older workers show are more resilient in the face of threatening economic conditions.

Other findings from the study also suggest that for employees who felt that their job security had decreased, perceptions of engagement, supervisor support, inclusion, and job quality declined after the onset of the economic downturn.

Moreover, while younger workers felt the effectiveness of their work team as a whole dropped as their job security declined, older workers felt the effectiveness of their team held steady.

Our forecast is that like, one of the researchers suggested, wise employers will enhance employee engagement by implementing simple, cost-efficient efforts. These efforts will include providing strong training and development opportunities, encouraging work team inclusion, and promoting a culture of workplace flexibility, and supervisor supportiveness.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 1.336.210.3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

This week, our own author, Joyce delivered the second episode of her own show on (and now as well) It's Your Future with Joyce Gioia debuted last month in various timeslots---due to time zones. The second episode featured Joyce talking about The Future of Living Spaces. Of course, Joyce will continue to deliver the futures commentary segment of INGOMU's podcast, The Future of Life, Work, and Wellness which also appears on the Futures Television channel on Each podcast closes with a special commentary from our author Joyce about what the interview insights mean for the future. Eventually, will offer the listings for the showings of both programs.

The War for Talent is back. How can you compete? By having an Employee Retention Specialist on your staff. If you were ever interested in taking the Employee Retention Certification Program, now is the time for you to speak up. Joyce is putting together another class featuring the latest research for the end of September. Call Carol at 336.210.3548 or email to express your interest.

Hosted by the Dubai Futures Foundation, the event will convene 400 of the world's top futurists to anticipate challenges, imagine opportunities, share foresight, and shape the future. For more information, visit

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ HomeAboutProductsResourcesMedia ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.