Sunday, August 29, 2010

Options to useful retirement ....

Some ways to useful retirement and not just work alone but to be useful again to the society :

With some ideas and suggestions for re-employing and redeploying silver talent, culled from the experience of companies :

1 Avoid the retirement mindset

It is the societal and company culture that often puts off older workers from staying on or applying for jobs. Job advertisements asking for applicants with 'energy' and 'fresh thinking' for a workplace that is 'fast-paced' implicitly tell older candidates that they are not welcome.

2 Reinvent and Rehire in different positions

At a property giant here, 'senior silver hairs' are placed in positions where they are not responsible for profit and loss. This means they are not in charge of balance sheets and their performance is not based on the bottom line. This allows them to avoid the pressures of the corporate world while remaining as experienced advisers.

3 Offer better re-employment contracts

Re-employment contracts often slash pay and health benefits, which older employees find humiliating. Although a pay cut is inevitable especially if the employee's work load is lighter, salary should be determined on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the employee.

Re-employment contracts are usually offered on a yearly basis, subject to renewal. This takes away an employee's sense of security, which could be detrimental to morale. A three-year contract is a better compromise.

4 Rethink and redesign work habit arrangements

Older workers often want to continue working, but in a less intense and time-consuming environment. Being flexible with work arrangements or job-sharing would achieve this.

One company in America, business process outsourcer, allowed some 100 call-centre employees to work off-site. To fill the positions, it recruited older workers who proved excellent matches for its mature customers. When younger workers fill the roles, it found that they tend to quit after a while.

5 Offer and Provide flexi-retirement working time

Silver talent can be persuaded to remain in the company if they are given ample time to enjoy some amount of 'retirement'. Working six months a year or three days a week could provide this, as will taking a specified break in service (six months to a year) and then returning on contract.

6 Get retirees on retainer basis

Some companies also retain a pool of retirees who become management's first port of call when a sudden manpower injection is needed, whether in the case of cyclical spikes, job-sharing, or as a stop-gap measure in case of unplanned or long leave. As these employees already know how the company works, their deployment will avoid too much disruption.

7 Continue to Let the passion flow

Allow your silver talent the opportunity to take on passion projects of their own, whether running an innovation camp for employees, or getting involved with the company's corporate charity work.

Silver talent are no longer in the phase of life where work is the be-all and end-all. If they are convinced that they can use the company's resources to pursue the other interests they are passionate about, they are more likely to stay engaged at work.

8 Pass on the experiences learnt

The older executives or senior managers would have already gained a lot experiences from their years of working and it is surely useful for them to impart their experiences to the younger generation.

The Kolb Model and Subject Disciplines :

Kolb has undertaken extensive empirical work using the Learning Styles Inventory to relate different subject disciplines to the quadrants of the learning cycle and hence to different forms of knowledge: partly for reasons of space and partly for copyright reasons, you are referred to the text for the results.
Broadly speaking, he suggests that practitioners of creative disciplines, such as the arts, are found in the Divergent quadrant.
Pure scientists and mathematicians are in the Assimilative quadrant
Applied scientists and lawyers are in the Convergent quadrant

Professionals who have to operate more intuitively, such as teachers, are in the Accommodative quadrant
There are also differences in the location of specialists within the more general disciplines

This would suggest that different subject areas call for different learning styles, and raises the usual chicken and egg question as to whether the discipline promotes a particular learning style, or whether preferred learning style leads to adoption of a discipline, or of course, both. (All of the above assumes that there is some validity in this conceptualisation of "learning styles")

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