The purpose of the study was to explore the Baby Boomer retirement phenomenon occurring throughout the United States as some 64 million people in this cohort (those born between 1946–1964) became eligible for retirement beginning in 2011, and how one organization's rank and file employees perceived how the organization is preparing for those departures and the knowledge and skills gaps that are expected as a result of those departures. A descriptive case study design utilizing quantitative methods was used. The study focused on firefighters in the state of California because of the pivotal role this profession plays in every community throughout the state, and in particular one fire department located in the fastest growing county within the state. A questionnaire was developed to explore the perceptions of the employees concerning the preparations being made to address the departure of Baby Boomer employees, also succession planning, knowledge management and talent retention efforts, and their perceptions concerning leadership development strategies currently being undertaken. These data results were analyzed and findings explicated. The results indicated that employees were informed concerning the Baby Boomer retirement phenomenon and expressed concern that the department was not doing enough to prepare the next generation of workers to fill those expected knowledge and skills gaps they believed were inevitable. The results also showed that the demographic makeup of the sample had no bearing on overall employee perception, which was that not enough was being done by the department to address the problem that employees perceived would eventually affect productivity and performance. Based on the results, there is evidence that the department will face many challenges brought on by the departure of this cohort, if those issues are not addressed with urgency.
|Subjects||Management; Educational philosophy|
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