When your top marketing minds retire, how can you make sure key institutional knowledge isn’t lost?
Today, an estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day, and much of this talent is departing from marketing, customer service, and product teams. With decades of experience in the business, these individuals have relationships, insights, and institutional knowledge that are incredibly valuable. How can you ensure all that isn’t lost when they move on to retirement?
Engage employees who want to retire in mentorship programs. Do you have employees who are approaching the end of their careers? Consider setting up mentorship programs—to help transfer knowledge, contacts, and the intangibles of doing business. Not only does this help maintain relationships and knowledge within your company, but it’s an effective way to offer training and support to your up-and-coming employees.
Invite retiring employees to consult. Does an employee who is moving on have a unique skill set or perspective? Perhaps they’re done with working 40 hours a week, but could they be convinced to work a few hours per week or consult quarterly on priority projects. Determine what’s feasible with your budget and workload. Many employees would be happy to make you part of their next phase of life, for the right budget and work arrangements.
Involve retiring employees in training. Consider inviting a retiring employee to conduct a training class. For example, if a person who’s been responsible for overseeing customer success is leaving, take a deep dive into what they’ve been doing over an afternoon training or even a brown-bag lunch. Not only does it provide an opportunity for them to share their insights, but your larger marketing team gets the benefit of their experience.
Capture their insights in writing. Not every employee who is moving on will want to write a book. Yet, many of them who are comfortable expressing themselves in writing would be willing to summarize key takeaways, share templates, and create other written resources that can help preserve their perspective and shorten the learning curve.
Set up meetings with customers and vendors. When team members who are leaving have good relationships with customers, vendors, or partners, it can be helpful to have them set up meetings between those people and the employees who will be replacing them. A personal introduction—and if possible, an endorsement—can help your network feel more comfortable with the individuals stepping up to the plate. A trusted recommendation from a retiring employee can go a long way.
Eventually, your most valued employees will retire. Proactively, take the steps needed so they share their insights and experiences with the team that will be replacing them.