<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Could We Ease Our Employees Transition to Retirement?
November 17, 2009
Dear Smooth Move: There are many actions employers can take to facilitate the retirement transition for their valued employees. Phased retirement. First (and this one is somewhat self-serving), offer phased retirement. Allow your seasoned employees to work part time, in temporary or project work, while they are making this change in their lives. Honor and celebrate their accomplishments. Don't wait until retirement time to appreciate the contributions of your older workers. Honor them periodically with special events and, during these events, have other employees tell stories about their great work, as well as the support they show their fellow workers. Profile these valuable workers in your newsletter. These actions set up the next strategy. Have them share their expertise. Encourage your transitioning employees to teach the younger people how to do their jobs. This showcases their proficiency; but more important, it preserves your organization's intellectual capital. You may want to use audio or video recording to enhance this process and create a permanent record. Provide counseling. Take advantage of your company's employee assistance program (if one is offered) to offer transition counseling. Be sensitive to the fact that this generation often does not take kindly to the need for counseling or psychological guidance. So call it "coaching" instead, which is much more acceptable. Or, seek out coaches who have experience smoothing the progress of this kind of transition. Connect them with other job opportunities. If these former military personnel were involved in security for you, help them find part-time jobs in the private security field. If not, help them find appropriate part-time jobs, perhaps even volunteer jobs, if they can afford it. Most retiring baby boomers do not want to stop working altogether, and most retired military also have pensions. Establish an alumni association. Invite them back periodically for special events. Keeping in touch in this way may also give you a leg up in creating a pipeline for new recruits. SOURCE:Joyce L. Gioia, The Herman Group, Austin, Texas LEARN MORE: Retirement is a major life change that can be stressful. The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.