Redefining Retirement for the Woodstock Generation

Recently HR Strategists are boldly resetting their workforce horizons by listening to the Woodstock Generation’s advice to let them help redesign the detail of their work for the benefit of themselves and their employer. This dynamic approach retains maturity, ensures workplace stability, increases productivity and creates a culture of comradery.   
This approach takes the awkwardness out of the executive retirement discussion. It makes the succession plan come alive with many new and innovative ways to take advantage of the mature executive’s Knowledge base to solve a host of workforce challenges.
This culture of comradery can take care of unexpected or temporary vacancies brought about by someone needing to take a leave of absence, an unexpected resignation, or maybe a special project can benefit greatly from the wisdom of this particular executive. These are all examples where maturity can be useful to the company.
Now what’s going through your mind is a senior executive would never be willing to take a lesser position, for less pay to do work they did years ago. How do you know that? Have you asked a potential retiree if they would like to work in a special way for the company when it’s time to move on from their current role? Probably not. You simply assume and you know what that can do.
Redefining Retirement for the Woodstock Generation

The succession coaching talk would go like this:

“The company is considering a rather bold and innovate way to deal with some workforce issues and we would like your input”.
“Being a senior and well experienced team member what would you think about helping us construct a plan of how to deal with unexpected resignations, leaves of absences and special projects”?
“We need your insights and wisdom on how to create a role here that would help us fill those temporary vacancies with someone like yourself. Some one that has the background knowledge, flexibility and desire to help out the company and to stay tethered to the company as they slowly move into their next phase of life”.
“We need your input on what this position would look like so, if you wish, you could own it for as long as you wanted too after a well-defined transition period occurs from your current situation. You would be a pioneering executive redefining our world of work”. What do you think”?
Here is what they would think with a positive mindset. “Ok the company is signaling me it’s time to retire but they see me as having value. In fact they see me as having such value they are offering me a new and innovative purpose while allowing me the time to transition from my current role. This could be good. I really do not want to stop working but I am tired of the grind and this would allow me input into what I would be doing, how much I’d be paid and I would be able to tell them when I would be available to them”.
If they have a negative mindset or they really want to do something outside of the company you have sent the time to retire message and you move along to the transition discussion.
Either way the executive has been given the respect they deserve. A way to stay with the company that benefits both. And the executive has been given the recognition that they have value.

For other innovative thought processes regarding the idea of retirement go to or contact Bob Foley at