Today’s HR Strategists are boldly resetting their workforce horizons by listening to the Woodstock Generation’s advice: “Let us help redesign the detail of our work for the benefit of ourselves and our employer.”
This dynamic approach retains maturity, ensures workplace stability, increases productivity, and creates a culture of comradery. It removes the awkwardness from the executive retirement discussion, allowing the succession plan to come alive with new and innovative ways to take advantage of the mature executive’s knowledge base for solving a host of workforce challenges.
What a culture of comradery can do
This culture of comradery inspired by the Woodstock Generation can take care of unexpected or temporary vacancies brought about by a leave of absence or an unexpected resignation. It also makes it easier for a senior executive to share their wisdom in a special project. These are all examples where maturity can be useful to the company.
You’re probably thinking that a senior executive would never be willing to take a lesser position, for less pay, to do the work they did years ago, but how do you know that? Have you asked a potential retiree if they would like to work in a special way for the company when it’s time to move on from their current role? Probably not. You simply assume—and you know what that can do.
Instead, consider what the Woodstock Generation is saying.
Here’s how the succession coaching talk could go:
- “The company is considering a rather bold and innovate way to deal with some workforce issues and we would like your input.”
- “As a senior and experienced team member, what would you think about helping us construct a plan of how to deal with unexpected resignations, leaves of absence, and special projects?”
- “We need your insights and wisdom on how to create a role that would help us fill temporary vacancies with someone like yourself. Someone with the background knowledge, flexibility, and desire to help the company now, and stay tethered to the company as they slowly move into their next phase of life.”
- “We want your input on what this position would look like, so that, if you wish, you could own it for as long as you wanted, after a well-defined transition period from your current situation. You would be a pioneering executive redefining our world of work. What do you think?”
Here’s the message a positive-minded senior would receive:
- “Okay, the company is signaling me it’s time to retire, but they see me as having value.”
- “In fact, they see me as having such value they are offering me a new and innovative purpose, while allowing me the time to transition from my current role. This could be good.”
- “I really do not want to stop working, but I am tired of the grind…and this would allow me input into what I would be doing, how much I’d be paid, and I would be able to tell them when I would be available to them.”
If they have a negative mindset or they really want to do something outside of the company, you have at least sent the time-to-retire message and you can move along to the transition discussion.
Either way, with this approach inspired by the Woodstock Generation, the executive has been given the respect they deserve, as well as a way to stay with the company, benefitting both. In addition, the executive has been recognized for their value.
If you are considering retirement
Maybe you’re on the precipice of your retirement, wondering what comes next. Or maybe you’ve tried out retirement on your own but aren’t sure how to achieve the retirement lifestyle you truly desire.
Want to know a secret? Driven, high-achieving career professionals like you are often the people who struggle the most in creating a retirement lifestyle that reflects and embodies your goals, wants, and needs. Retirement Lifestyle Coaching is here to help you see the forest for the trees and create a customized action plan with clear steps to follow to reach your ideal retirement destination.
Bob Foley is your Retirement Lifestyle Coach and you can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply by scheduling time on his calendar here.