Retirement Counseling as an Employee Retention Tool

Kristen Borrego, Outsourced Consulting Services

Controlling employee turnover can be one of the biggest challenges for any organization. Succession planning, employeae opinion surveys, focus groups, training, and professional development are useful tools to minimize the negative impact of turnover. But has your organization considered retirement
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counseling as part of its employee retention program?

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimated that the percentage of workers in the workforce aged 55 and over would be 49.3 percent in 2012. This means that half of your employees could be thinking of retiring in the next 10 years. Employee turnover in this quantity could prove to be very costly to your organization.
What can be done? Consider adding retirement counseling as a tool in your employee retention toolbox. Retirement counseling is a service that provides employees a chance to examine what life without work will look like. This service looks beyond balances in retirement accounts and asks the employee to take an in-depth look at what type of life they want once work is over. Retirement counseling allows employees to feel empowered and to have a solid plan for when they will exit your organization.
It seems counterintuitive that providing employees a resource to help them figure out a when they will leave your organization would help you retain them, but it truly can. Creating an environment where employees can discuss their personal and professional life goals, in an open and honest way, can increase trust on both sides. These positive feelings can trickle over and permeate the entire organization, not just the employee who is being assisted. Another positive effect is that by keeping the lines of communication open, the organization will have a firm understanding of when its employees are thinking of retiring, which can greatly assist with cross-training and staff planning.
If employee turnover is something that concerns your organization, consider adding retirement counseling to your employee retention tool kit. You will be surprised at how helping employees figure out how to exit your organization can really cause them to remain. MSEC has resources that can help, please contact hrmanager@msec.org for more information.