Coaching Your Employees On Finishing Strong as They Retire
Baby boomers are beginning to retire in large numbers. AARP says that 10,000
people are retiring from work daily. Most companies have no formal program to
aid these employees in this final transition. Although we often have extensive
onboarding programs, little to nothing is done when an employee is ending their
career except a goodbye party.
Upcoming retirement for many people means coasting until the day they are done.
Dave was a senior level manager and he announced his retirement one year in
advance. Problem was that Dave then became retired on the job. He stop innovating.
He stopped green lighting new ideas. He avoid conflict by ignoring problems. He
no longer aggressively led his team. Dave had been very successful in his career
but he ended so poorly that was how everyone remembered him. His team suffered a
morale problem because they felt they were stuck until Dave left his position.
That is a company problem. You want the retiring employee to end strong at your
company. Instead of letting the employee coast and drain the company coffers,
there are some key things HR can do to support the retiring person to end their
career in the best way possible fully contributing up until the last day.
Some key strategies include:
Establish a planning-to-retire Educational program.
HR should develop a workshop helping their employees plan out their
future especially how they will handle all the time they will have
once they leave the company. The course can also cover financial planning
too. The employee will be grateful for this assistance and also should
learn various ways to end strong in their current role.
Coach the soon-to-be departed employee’s manager.
Managers of departing employees need help knowing how to support someone
leaving their group. Having a formal coaching effort to reach out to the
manager is necessary and it should offer proven strategies to keep the
employee engaged until their last day. The supervisor should try to get
as many key projects competed and realize that it is their responsibility
to not let the employee just coast and become retired-on-the-job.
Get them to document their knowledge.
As many baby boomers walk out the door, their depth of experience and knowledge
departs with them. Companies should work with these employees and have them
document their field and knowledge in a creation of a training manual or by
adding knowledge pages to your organization’s Intranet so other employees can
learn from these folks.
Train a new employee.
Ideally, the organization should make efforts to internally promote or hire a
replacement and have the departing employee train the new person. Having a
2-3 week training period aids the company in helping the new employee come up
to speed and be more productive in their new role faster.
Consider offering a bridge job.
Finding talented workers to replace departing baby boomers will continue to
become harder in our tight labor market. Developing a transitional or bridge
job where the employee remains on a part time basis with more flexibility and
longer vacations may allow the company to retain good workers and avoid the
quest for talent that is often not available. Baby Boomers want flexibility and
less hours at the end of their career. In fact 72% say they plan to work in their
retirement. When the company offers to reshape their current job it would allow
the company and employee to remain together for a few more years so both benefit.
Annette was an IT specialist who wanted to leave the Energy utility she worked
for. The HR department was under the gun to deliver a new HRIS system and worked
with her to remain on 3 days a week and granted her the ability to take more
unpaid vacations. This new “bridge job” had her remain in her role for 18 months
until the big project was completed.
Final days may be a bittersweet time for employees to say goodbye to their
co-workers, friends and the company itself. Having a supportive sendoff is
a great policy to ensure everyone leaves on a positive note and will speak
highly of your organization after their departure.
Robin Ryan has appeared on over 2000 TV & radio shows including
Oprah and DrPhil. She is the best-selling author of eight books including her
newest “Retirement Reinvention”. She has a busy Seattle-area career counseling
practice helping clients nationwide. Learn more at:
CLICK HERE to get Robin
Ryan’s FREE 10 page article “HIRED - Using the Hidden Job Market.”
Robin Ryan is a career counselor offering individual services
including Interview Coaching
and Resume Writing.
She is a Speaker and the bestselling author
of seven career books including
60 Seconds & You’re Hired and Over 40 & You’re Hired!
She has appeared on over 2000 TV and radio shows including
Oprah, Dr Phil, CNN and