Helping Your Employees Retire
You know one thing about an employee that takes interest in your company retirement program. That is that he or she is taking a proactive interest in staying with the company long enough to retire. This is not a given for every employee. It used to be in the generation that was in the workplace of the nineteen fifties and sixties that staying with a company for thirty or more years and retiring with full benefits was the norm. That is not the norm any more.
We cannot just blame the job hopping ways of employees for the change of culture away from going for the gold watch and retiring in a company. From the corporate side, so many companies have eliminated retirement packages entirely that there is a strong belief of “do it yourself” retirement in the working population.
A company offers retirement benefits for employees for one purpose. That is to aid with retention. When you have a pool of talented, well trained and energetic employees, that is a corporate resource. So if you can keep those employees all the way through to retirement, that is a real value to any corporate entity.
So if your company does offer these benefits to your employees, its important that you take advantage of them in more ways then just sponsoring them. A retirement package for aging employees sends a message to the employees that the company cares about them and about their families. And this may be true in your company that you have a corporate culture of being involved with your employees at a personal level and maintaining that “we are family” feeling for people who work for you. If that is the case, it makes sense that you would extend that feeling to care for the retirement planning of any employee that you have that shows signs of being a long term value to the company.
You should highlight the company retirement package as early as the interview with your prospective employees. Remember that an interview is about more than you looking for qualified people. It is also about qualify people interviewing you. And that is exactly where the value of a strong retirement package is of greatest value. If a job hunter who is looking for a place to work that they can retire at knows that you have a good plan to help them with their retirement planning, that will draw the brightest and best to your HR department.
Your HR department should not let the retirement issues of employees lie idle for very long at all. The more you help your employees plan for and participate in a retirement program, the happier they will be and the more engaged in their work they will be. Hold regular retirement planning meetings to have employees review their level of participation in the program. This is where you will put in front of the employees your most empathetic HR employees to show genuine interest in the employee’s retirement issues.
Above all be sure to show particular concern and caring for aging employees. And when an employee finally crosses over into retirement, throw a party and go out of your way not only for the company to help the employee transition to retirement but to demonstrate to all employees that the company lives up to its claims to be faithful to employees all the way into retirement. In an economy where so many companies throw people away, your employees will notice that this is not that kind of company. And your faithfulness to retiring employees will result in a rich crop of faithfulness from ongoing employees who stand behind you because you stand behind them from the day they start work in the company all the way through to retirement.