Retirement can be one of the most anticipated and life-changing life events in a person’s life. But while many people look forward to retirement at different times in their life, when the time comes it can impact them in ways they never considered. With usually fifty plus years in employment, the thought of suddenly not working can be fraught with many concerns.

Thankfully, as an employer, there are proactive ways you can help employees approaching this stage in their lives and ensure a smooth transition for your organisation. Here are five ways you can help successfully transition your ageing workforce into retirement.

1. Keep the conversation open

A great way to find out the plans of your ageing workforce without confronting them with “When do you want to retire?” is to ask the question, “What are your plans for the next three to five years?”

By keeping the conversation open you can determine their timeframe and help the transition to occur more smoothly without them feeling pushed out or you being surprised and having to scramble after their notice period.

2. Promote knowledge transfer

Long-term employees will naturally have a deeper level of understanding around how your business works and how their role impacts other areas, tasks and functions. They are also likely to have formed strong relationships across the organisation particularly with key clients and suppliers and know shortcuts, tips and tricks to make their role and tasks more streamlined.

This level of knowledge takes years to accumulate and help to avoid costly mistakes, delays and frustrations across your organisation. By actively encouraging knowledge transfer across your organisation by engaging your ageing workforce through mentoring programs, onboarding and process mapping you can avoid losing valuable corporate knowledge when it does come time for older employees to transition. By involving your ageing workforce in these activities, you also ensure your ageing workforce feel values and are respected members of your organisation.

3. Offer different alternatives to full retirement

While some employees want to start their permanent vacation as soon as possible, keep in mind that others may want to transition more slowly. Offering different alternatives to retirement like a part-time or consulting role can be a more comfortable way of edging into retirement and allow people to build a life outside of the work that has been such a large part of their life for so long.

By keeping their wisdom and experience around for longer, you can also create further mentoring and knowledge transfer opportunities through your organisation and prevent having to immediately go into the panic of trying to find a replacement.

4. Consider succession planning throughout your organisation

In your workforce planning, it is important to consider where your ageing workforce is located within your organisation. If an entire department is full of soon to be retirees your organisation is at a higher risk of not being able to manage effectively and efficiently through their transition.

If you are not in a position to engage new hires for these areas, cross-training staff can be a great way to safeguard against this in the short-term. The more staff members that know the different areas of your business the better equipped you will be to continue with business as usual.

5. Provide staff with the support they need to transition

Make no mistake retirement is a huge step that can come with many worries and changes. Financial concerns, fears of relationship strains and the need to create an identity outside of work are just some of the issues that can play on the mind of those considering retirement.

One of the best ways you can help your ageing workforce transition is to provide them with the support to consider all of the options available to them. Our Future Success Program offers practical advice on the pathway to retiring and helps transitioning employees plan effectively for retirement and review future employment options.

Need help transitioning your ageing workforce successfully into retirement? Call Turning Point Partners, the transition experts today on (07) 3838 1388 or email