With my own retirement drawing close, I have been paying increased attention to the way my clients and other organizations approach the subject. There is a fear among some employers of saying the wrong thing, making the wrong promises or even appearing ignorant about the organization's procedures and benefits. This is understandable, because it is not every day that an employee retires, so it can be difficult for even seasoned managers to gain the requisite experience to approach talks with confidence.
Employers can play a key role in helping team members to retire with confidence. When I Googled "retirement planning," the sources that appeared all dealt with the financial aspects of retirement. None dealt with the emotional or psychological aspects of re-imagining one's life.Retirement planning can be challenging, and it is important for your team members' wellbeing to assist them to navigate the often confusing path.
As someone who coaches others, I reached out to a retirement coach for help in trying to visualize a re-imagined life. He suggested I read Life Re-imagined by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber — a book I highly endorse and one that employers and HR professionals can give to employees who are considering retirement.
Retirement coaching can guide and support the retiree through the myriad questions he or she might have or be struggling with. Planning for retirement necessitates making many difficult and personal decisions, and having an expert to talk to can help retirees gain a better understanding about what their post-career life will be like.
Offering coaching can benefit employers as well. Being involved in the process allows organizations greater insight into how the employee's departure will affect operations. Offering assistance in retirement planning as early on as possible allows managers to plan for the transfer of knowledge and responsibility to other team members. Knowing which employees are beginning to plan their retirement and their anticipated date also gives employers a chance to adjust their recruiting and hiring efforts accordingly, to ensure a smooth transition with minimal interruptions.
Team members also appreciate an employer's willingness to help them live a happy post-work life. This can lead to a boost in productivity and team member loyalty, and those close to retirement will be more invested in helping to ensure a smooth transition after their departure. Having a network of happy alumni that might be able to offer their expertise through freelance or project work can also benefit an organization.
With my own retirement drawing close, I can attest that the prospect can be as anxiety-producing as it is exciting. But with the right planning and support, the apprehension that comes with starting something new can be channeled into positive outcomes.