“Generation Unretired” according to this BusinessWeek.com article.  That is a new term to me.  According to the article:

The AARP says that 8 out of 10 baby boomers will work part- or full-time past retirement age. That’s 64 million unretiring Americans, the biggest demographic shift in the American workforce since WWII—and 93% of the growth in the American labor market from now until 2016, according to the Pew Research Center.

This trend is one that has been in the making for some time.  The current recession and housing bubble burst has only exacerbated the trend.  Clearly there will be new management techniques needed to handle the Gen U employees.  The article illustrates some excellent hiring suggestions, but this one stood out to me:

Define Roles. How is the former senior vice-president of a multinational going to feel about reporting to a project manager? Your Gen U staff may need to report to others with fewer years of business experience, yet more advanced or specialized skills. While you may not supervise the prospective Gen Uer, it may helpful to engage in some of the interviews so that you better understand the mindset of various Gen Uers.

(You’ll want to be sure that your less senior staff is not threatened or that the more senior member is not threatening. It works both ways.)

There in lies the tension, doesn’t it?  Later in the article comes this management point:

Remember that it’s an upside-down world for retired executives returning to the workplace: Their junior colleagues are actually “senior,” and they are reporting to managers who have far less experience than they do. As a result, Gen U hires may not be feeling entirely secure about their position. Micromanage them and many may feel particularly boxed in. Give them the benefit of the doubt—and watch what can happen. Often, strategic thinking that is the Gen Uer’s greatest asset.

The next decade will provide a unique management landscape for Gen X as we ascend into the majority of the  management ranks.

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