New Retirement Planning – Everyone Wins!

Mary Morency and Jeannette Lalonde

Most organizations have been attuned to the subject of an ageing workforce for several years. Numbers have been run and most know how the retirement of the largest generation of workers in history, the Baby Boomers, will affect their business.

How ready is your company for the exodus of some of your most experienced and knowledgeable employees? How ready are the Boomers themselves?

We have witnessed a growing number of organizations go beyond traditional financial retirement planning for their employees by offering life and work transition planning as well. We call this New Retirement Planning. So, how does this planning benefit your organization? How does it benefit your people?

Value to the Organization

New Retirement planning is an important component of any Human Resources best practices:

  • Succession planning: helps to open up career opportunities for your younger, high potential talent
  • Employee recognition: recognizes the value of mature employees when they are asked or choose to take on transitional roles or retire
  • Knowledge transfer: creates opportunities for Baby Boomers to share their knowledge and mentor young talent before and during retirement
  • Wellness program: offers benefits and services relevant to Boomers’ stage in life, including new working arrangements
  • Company values: demonstrates respect and commitment to your older employees through concrete actions

Company Testimonial

Lucie-Marie Gauthier, Vice-President HR & Communications, Fednav Limited

In 2014 we projected that about 35% of our employees at the management/professional levels would retire over the next 5 years. This would obviously have a major impact on our organization.

We needed to manage this situation, recognizing that a departure due to retirement impacts not only the individual but also the entire team. By offering personalized coaching support to our future retirees, we help individuals manage their stress in preparing for this important stage in life. We also ensure that the individuals take the necessary steps to transfer their knowledge and identify the legacy they wish to leave to the organization.

As a result, retirement departures happen in a much more organized and serene fashion. The future retirees manage their departure like a project, thus reducing their own stress and those around them.

I have personally witnessed the evolution of individuals who have participated in the retirement coaching process and have seen the positive impact it has had on the work climate. This investment definitely adds value to both the individuals and the organization.

Value to Boomers

There comes a time in their careers when Boomers start prioritizing areas of life that have been put aside because of the demands of work. The New Retirement program provides a diagnostic and framework to jump start self-reflection. Individuals then receive the support needed to plan their transition and get excited about the next phase of their lives or possibly a new work orientation.

Supported by a retirement coach, they face such fears as isolation and the loss of a sense of accomplishment, and identify their hopes for this new stage in life.

We recently held workshops for 50 employees in an organization offering a voluntary retirement incentive program and observed several recurring themes that people had as they face retirement:

  • Work and Career
  • Work Reorientation: an identity less tied to work
  • Replacement of work functions: especially the socialization, the sense of being useful, and the management of one’s time that work provides
  • Life Satisfaction and Life Meaning once work is no longer the main driver

Testimonials from individuals:

  • This workshop helped me identify which activities I want to experiment with in each of the life arenas so that I can create a more balanced life in retirement.
  • An excellent workshop that prodded me to reflect and motivated me to act. I recommend this workshop for all colleagues who are 55 or older.
  • This coaching helped me let go of work and gain the confidence that I can create a better life for myself in retirement
  • The Retirement Success Profile and the coaching helped me push my reflections beyond what I could have done on my own and was very useful.

Our experience with helping over 100 individuals confirms that retirement readiness is very personal, requires a made to measure plan for each individual, and that organizations and individuals each benefit from a supportive transition planning. With the New Retirement workshops and coaching, everyone wins!