June, 2015, FlexProfessionals, LLC.
The government got it right on this one. A recent Washington Post article highlights a new voluntary government program that allows retirement-eligible employees to work part-time (20 hours per week) for 12-18 months before fully retiring, allowing them to transfer crucial information and knowledge to less experienced workers. What is in it for soon-to-be retiring employees? It gives them the ability to stay engaged but attain a better work-life balance and a lower level of stress compared to their full-time job. Everyone wins.
The government is following a logical approach and the policy they defined shows a lot of creativity. While there is still a long way to go given the slow rollout of the program, it is an innovative policy that has leapfrogged some of the traditional employment policies of the private sector. In general, across government and private sectors, the baby-boomer generation (25 million by 2020) is leaving the workforce faster than millennials are entering. Yet, according to the National Technical Assistance Research Leadership Center, a majority of companies surveyed had made NO special provisions for older workers. While younger generations approach how and when they work quite differently than their predecessors, the exodus of retirement-eligible employees equates to an exodus of critical knowledge and experience that can’t always be learned by googling a question or using the latest app. Not taking proactive steps to address the impending brain-drain places some organizations in substantial risk.
One way to alleviate this issue is for companies to take a page from the new government playbook and offer retiring or soon-to-be retiring employees part-time or flexible work options. There are many baby boomers who are just not ready to completely walk away from the workforce and see part-time as a viable way to ease this transition. If your company is looking for a way to maximize the value and contribution levels of each employee, think about adopting a strategy where your retiring workforce can mentor younger generations and not lose out on the years of experience and knowledge that has already been attained. Washington Post Article
Ellen Grealish is one of the co-founders of FlexProfessionals, LLC, a niche staffing company that specializes in sourcing professionals for part-time, project-based and flexible work arrangements at a fraction of traditional employee costs. Contact: Ellen@flexpro.wpengine.com.