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Help your employees prepare for retirement

November 18, 2019
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Help Your Employees Prepare For Retirement

Larry Gard, Ph.D.

Does your business have a plan to assist staff who are nearing retirement?  If your company is serious about helping employees prepare for this transition, it’s going to take more than offering a PowerPoint presentation describing the rules around IRA withdrawals.  You need to help them plan emotionally as well.

When key employees are ambivalent about retiring, the following complications can occur:  

a)  The person has difficulty committing to a definitive date to retire. This impacts the firm’s operations and succession planning process.
b)  The person steps down but won’t step away (e.g. insists on attending meetings, being copied on emails, and offering input).
c)  The person doesn’t fully cooperate with the succession plan (e.g. criticizes or undermines their successor, offers little training or developmental guidance to those next in line).

I’ve written elsewhere about how HR professionals can address these complications.  Keep in mind that an employee’s ambivalence about retirement can be exacerbated if management is uncomfortable raising the topic in the first place.  Here are a few open-ended questions to begin a conversation:

1. Which aspects of the job are you still enjoying?  
2. As you contemplate the future, what are your long-term plans?
3. What would you like to accomplish professionally before you retire?
4. What issues are most important to you as you contemplate retirement?
5. How can we best collaborate to ensure you have ample time to plan a smooth transition?

These early conversations are an important first step toward helping your employees become emotionally prepared for retirement.  They can also complete my complimentary retirement transition readiness quiz, which highlights some of the head and heart issues they should consider.

Dr. Larry Gard is a consulting psychologist and the author of “Done With Work – a dozen perspectives on the decision to retire.”  He offers pre-retirement coaching for individuals, and group workshops for businesses and organizations.
Help your employees prepare for retirement
Source: HR.com Articles

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