You’re Retiring. What Do I Need to Know?

You’re Retiring. What Do I Need to Know?
3D rendered Illustration. Highway Sign next exit to Retirement.

The conversation goes something like this:

Oh wow. Congratulations. That’s so exciting and well-deserved too. Um, do you have a date when you expect to leave? Oh my, that soon huh? Uh, great. Gee, what do I need to know?

Are you feeling the pain?

You don’t have to.

There’s a natural ebb and flow to human capital and the one thing most every company owner can be assured of is that at some point there will be someone retiring or moving on to another job.

Oftentimes the retiree has been with the company for a long time and their tenure enables them to have the ins and outs of their position down pat. That is why these folks often say that they can do their job in their sleep.

And that all seems to work well until there is a situation when they aren’t available to do the job at all. Most decidedly retiring is one of those situations.

Here are some things to take into account so that you can avoid the stress and disruption that can happen when an employee announces their retirement*. And keep in mind that this type of disruption can seriously impact productivity, profitability and your bottom-line:

  • Make certain that you have documented the daily functions for all key personnel. Long time employees “know” their jobs and responsibilities intrinsically but that doesn’t mean that anyone else has a clue as to what they do and how they do it. By documenting their daily activities you will be secure in knowing that a new employee will be able to pick up the retiree’s daily responsibilities and walk in their shoes quite seamlessly. (Haven’t done the documentation yet? Start now BEFORE the employee takes their leave and hits the golf course!)
  • Along with documentation, real-time testing of what you have documented is also critical to smooth transition. Testing ensures that what you have documented actually works as expected.
  • Long time employees often develop their own workflow processes and the truth is that this highly personalized approach to “getting the work done” might not be the best and most efficient methodology. Documenting all of the processes ensures smoother employee transition but also enables you to get a good grasp on the current workflow and what might require re-engineering.

Take these steps and you won’t miss a beat when someone says, “I’m retiring.”

* Employees also go out on leave, relocate, get ill, have babies, are terminated and many other things that cause them to not be at work. These same steps will help eliminate the disruption that occurs when these situations occur as well.


From the May 2014 Unique Business Solutions Newsletter

May 1, 2014