We begin this new year, perhaps a bit ironically, with “the end in mind”—by taking on the topic of retirement. People and organizations sometimes avoid discussion on this sensitive issue, but a good retirement program signifies that indeed, a company cares for its employees. If we want satisfied employees who value their work, development programs should start from the time they are hired until they are retired.
We spoke to Ray Soberano, the HR Head of the Inquirer Group and a veteran of several multinational companies, to enlighten us on this topic. He counseled us, saying “after spending many of the best years of their lives in an organization, retiring employees need to be provided a multifaceted support system so that they can welcome the journey to their next life milestone.”
We asked him how a relevant and comprehensive retirement program could be a worthy investment for all businesses, and here are his thoughts:
Retiring employees are consciously empowered to chart their future when they leave the company. This means they are not only financially prepared but also made to realize their potentials, capabilities and exciting options.
By helping them reflect, manage their anxieties, and plan ahead, retiring employees remain highly productive and, very importantly, pass on willingly their explicit and tacit knowledge and experience to younger employees or successors. This assures continuity in the operations of the company.
By taking care of retirees through an engaging program, the company’s internal and external reputation are enhanced. To the younger employees, this reflects an image of an employer that cares about its people; to external stakeholders, the company becomes a concrete example of being responsible and trusted. In the end, it generates enormous goodwill and loyalty even from the retirees themselves.
An engaging retirement program must be marked with timeliness and, realistically, it must be available 5 to 10 years before an employee retires. Sincerity and willingness are to be felt in the implementation and it should also be initiated with a well-planned communication program since retirement is a sensitive personal matter. In the end, retiring employees must feel that they are respected, valued, and cared for well beyond the years that they have spent in the organization.