Similar to the positive, indelible first impression one wants to make on the first day of work, a signature transition to retirement can be just as meaningful.
For some, 40 plus years of sweat-equity in a career is a singular accomplishment that can understandably lead to a sense of entitlement. Others, after decades of paying it forward, might view the moment as an opportunity to pay it back.
Whatever your current sensibility, a few well-considered steps can make a career dismount feel more gratifying when pulling out of the company parking lot for the last time.
Here’s a fact that can put you in the driver’s seat as you strategize a planned, well-timed transition into retirement: Тhe mass exodus of elder brain trust from companies will continue full strength for the next 8 – 10 years. This will deplete the workforce of acumen, experience, and awareness of a culture that made it strong in the first place.
Planning for a smart departure can benefit both you and the company. Consider this….
Talk to a trusted leader or Human Resources representative about starting or becoming involved with an existing Boomer group. If none exists, it won’t take much to develop a solid business case.
With an estimated 10,000 Boomers a day now bolting from the workforce, developing the idea into something workable should be a no-brainer.
Many employees keep dark the secret of their ultimate retirement date for fear of being marginalized. Worse, some believe it can hasten their exit from the company, forcing them to leave before emotional or financial readiness.
At its simplest, developing an intranet site to share facts, stats and human interest stories on retirement prep heightens awareness and raises the curtain on a subject that often dares not speak its name.
The site, ideally developed and managed by employees, can publicize programs intended to strengthen the workforce being left behind.
Formalizing a mentor program can pave the way for future high contributors to accelerate their contribution. Mentoring has been shown to increase both employee satisfaction and engagement.
Lessening the stigma surrounding retirement through the vehicle of the intranet site can ultimately make it easier for Boomers to discuss their own transition stories.
As a follow up, HR can plan support for managers who will need to respond with productive, enabling conversations that seek mutual high-ground.
You might be scratching your head right now. It could very well be true that your company has its head in the sand about the great Boomer exit. Until recently, most Boomers were postponing retirement to rebuild 401Ks hit hard at the beginning of the new century.
And CEOs are dealing with other harsh realities like dwindling employee engagement and creating company cultures where creativity and innovation can flourish.
But honestly – therein lies the opportunity. Singing the praises of a gifted Boomer group ready to pay it backward can heap recognition on you as a perceptive problem-solver in tune with the current company zeitgeist.
Stepping up efforts as a high-contributor whose heart is in the right place might even secure a position if working past the assumed retirement age of 65 – or if post-retirement consulting work – is a consideration.
Of course, take a pulse check before moving your strategy forward. Is the climate right to engage in conversations with HR and company leaders? Have you thought through the basics of a Boomer program launch? Can you express your objectives through the lens of benefits to the company?
Better still, talk with Boomer buddies, and move forward as a strategic team. There is more power in collaboration, and once past the development stage, it will serve you well as you begin execution.
How are you managing the transition to retirement? Have you thought of starting a boomer group in your workplace or community? Please share your thoughts and opinions below!