Just yesterday I was at my local java café listening to two men chatting about their experiences in swimming and tennis… experiences at the masters’ level of both provincial and national competitions.
Because of their sporting activities it was impossible to peg their ages… they both looked to be in their late 60’s. I was in for a surprise… they were 73 and 76 and apparently fit as fiddles; mentally and physically – and still working.
I was experiencing the living proof that mid-life is getting longer for many employed boomers… a lot longer, and many are healthier than previous generations at a similar age.
Employers are recognising these mid-life trends of robust health and engagement by committing more “air time” to their employees to explore a variety of retirement issues and options. They realize their older employees want to contribute longer, are willing to change or evolve their roles – and, that it makes excellent business sense to commit to a viable employee succession plan that includes transitions to part-time, consulting, distance working, and a philosophy of mentoring younger employees.
One employer client of mine has designed a “Chain of Progression” covering the four generations of an employee’s tenure – Novices and Up & Comers – Mid-Career – Late-Career and Elders. For each of these four employee generations the company has mapped out a communications and education strategy to promote inter-generational collaboration and conversation.
This process creates greater employee clarity about emerging roles, options and opportunities. New work forms can be explored and rather than holding back a knowledge-exchange, a company-wide spirit of transfer becomes more evident.
The overall result encourages both the employer and employee to be more proactive and to communicate at a high level. It recognizes that no two employees are the same and provides an opportunity to resolve most workplace and retirement transition issues.
For best results employers are advised to start this process early enough so that it becomes part of an on-going corporate communications plan. Starting at age 50 the process becomes more focused and tailored as the employee gets closer to retirement or a scaled back work schedule. Both parties are then best prepared for change.
Readers can contact me to learn more about these multifaceted plans.