Retired too early: case study

I hate it when people unexpectedly retire. It’s as if they jumped a parachute – they just disappear from the plane. But what is more troublesome – how can we possibly find someone to fill in their place? – this HR Business Partner was referring specifically to people specialized in one specific area. – We can’t just lose them, there are just 45 of them in the country. Can you believe? We employ the most, some are employed by our competition, and a few are freelancers who wouldn’t work full time with a corporate anyway.

This was really a problem. Problem for the HR team, for the employee’s manager, and for the remaining team members. – How can you prevent that? – we asked the HR lady. – You can tell us! – You might now think that this was indeed one of the greatest competitions to read the future from the waves on the lake. Not at all!

We approached people from the organization to get to know their point of view. When should one start thinking of planning to retire? Who to talk to? Who really needs to know – and why? What should happen, in what frequency, with what sequence? – these were the key questions we were looking for answers to. Our consultant ran a series of face to face and phone interviews with various people from the company and designed an optimum ‘pathway to retirement’ or, as you like it, ‘retirement procedure’ relating to this special group of rare specialists. The key point was that planning your retirement actually needs to start when you are just after 40, theoretically at the very top of your career – and this gives you enough time and space to identify a solution which is good for you. This also gives the manager the possibility to stay informed, even if (s)he asks you only once in two years or so.