Employ a Baby Boomer as their Benefits are good for the company’s bottom line.

They say Knowledge is power. Nothing succeeds like success. Then why do our companies allow our most experienced people to retire even though many of them do not want to stop working?

Because we have misclassified them. Many of them are “C Level” members of the team whose time has come to leave our Leadership ranks. Ok fine time for new leadership but do we really need to rid ourselves of these senior people with still a lot to give?

It’s time we wise up and create a whole new class of employees that act as “Elder Statesmen” or “Executives in Residence” or quite simply “Interim Executives”. They know your company intimately. They understand the issues at hand. They know how to navigate the corporate waters in your tributaries. So why do we let them retire and go away?

Because there is a widely held belief that once an Executive attains a certain level they would either not lower themselves to a seemingly lesser role or they would have salary expectations that are not in line with a position that is more of a coaching role and not that leadership role they have been used to. Or quite simply certain younger executives who are now in the power seat do not want “old thinking around any longer”.

Doesn’t sound like good Emotional intelligence to me and it is a thought process that wastes valuable resources in time of great need as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has told us that in 2018 26.2% of employees or 40 million left their jobs.

Let’s get with it!! “C Level” executives that wish to keep working before retirement but not as part of the Leadership of the company but rather as an internal mentor or development coach is what I am talking about. These executives would work initially full time and educate high potential line managers in the fine arts of Leadership and then coach them for a period of time until they have mastered said Leadership skills.

These coaches would also be available to opine on things like strategy, employee relations and corporate culture better known as internal politics. A big part of management development for the younger manager is their practicing their craft. This practicing though is in real time and if they become either too aggressive or “by the Book only” it could sully their reputation. To learn the power of persuasion from a more learned mentor that can be a sounding board about their approach could save a career, cutdown on turnover and take the agitation out of the workplace atmosphere.   

The time these coaches would be around depends on the company’s needs. I would recommend a formula similar to full time as they transition from their “C Level” role (1 year) followed by a year of ¾ time and then one more year of ½ time followed by an on call status. By the way these executives can also fill in for unexpected vacancies until they are refilled. The best scenario, I think, is to have these seasoned executives fill in and at the same time actually do the replacement search for the opening as they know the job best, are highly motivated to get back to their charter role and what a better person to “onboard” their replacement.

Think long and hard about this concept as you may find that it solves many nagging workforce problems while it gives a senior executive the bridge they need to adjust to their new life away from their corporate identity.