Not since finishing education and joining the workplace for the first time has there been a more significant and complex career hurdle – that of designing a life after work and retiring well. This is complex for both employees and employers, especially because there is no official retirement age and therefore, no certainty for either party.
Providing retirement support is not a new concept – it used to be more widely provided by employers such as the large public sector organisations who were putting their long serving employees on courses to help them transition to a new way of life, away from their 40-year careers.
However, I feel that with the increasing trend for shorter tenures in each company, many organisations believe that it’s not their job to help people retire anymore. But this is missing the point.
I’m not talking about retirement financial advice; this is only a small part of considering a healthy life after work. Whilst it is usually the first thing people think about when considering retirement, it’s only a drop in the ocean when we consider the psychological effects of this major change and the support that people will need to transition healthily.
The alternative is to provide some quality holistic support, making it Ok to talk about in the workplace. After all, prospective parents talk about their leave and the organisation plans for the transitions, but it often gets eerily quiet around retirement.
Providing contemporary retirement support – what are the benefits for employers?
Some initial key benefits to employers include:
- Better retention rates – by doing the right thing for employees
- Developing the culture – by facilitating open conversations so that all parties can plan better
- And gaining a competitive edge to attract talent – by strengthening their employee value proposition
The competition for talent is high and increasing, attracting the best candidates and retaining them is in every HR strategy, so having a great employer brand is vital. How employees are supported through the entire employee lifecycle can increase the attractiveness of an employer. Retirement support is part of that lifecycle and is key to having open conversations and can facilitate effective succession planning. Consider what will happen if retirement support is not on the agenda for people discussions, how can organisations plan effectively?
Helping people think about their future plans, whether they are long or short serving, makes it Ok for people to consider what is important to them – maybe it’s about the right time to go, or maybe even to return after a break, thus not losing that valuable knowledge base.
We know that employees can be advocates and champions of an employer’s brand, but I feel that sometimes we underestimate that retirees are the creators of much of our intellectual property and are ambassadors for our culture. They often have influence within a large network and become mentors to people at the early stages of their careers. In my opinion, organisations are missing something in quietly letting people go without support at this pivotal employee lifecycle stage.
What is contemporary retirement support?
The best retirement support is so much more than financial planning alone. Helping people to think about and design this next stage of their lives on an emotional, personal and psychological level is key to ensuring that our highly experienced, valuable employees feel empowered to make choices, sharing their plans openly with their organisation, thus allowing everyone to benefit and to plan for the future.
Holistic retirement support covers a whole range of areas such as health, our identity, structure, hopes and dreams, communication with others, and the possibilities about extending our working lives in new more flexible ways.
This level of quality retirement support facilitates good will in the workforce, which is great for employer brand and, should we want to attract people back – yes there is immense value in the older generation! – it is likely to be easier if we have provided end-to-end career support that takes retirement as seriously as it does embarking on a career, or mid-career professional development.
Want to know more about retirement support? You can download our retirement brochure here, or complete the form below to arrange a call back from one of our experts. Alternatively, you can reach us directly on 01491 414010.