Five Tips on Preparing Your Office Before You Leave

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Mentoring Staff

Dreaming of the time when you can spend your days laying on a beach, or spending more quality time with your loved ones? Before you officially retire it’s important to discuss your pathway to retirement and how you can leave knowing you’ve set yourself, your colleagues, and your organization up for future success.

Retirement rates are increasing. This past year we’ve seen retirement rates more than double. The continued wave of retirees are represent about 22% of the USA population. This means that the most economically influential generation in history is leaving the workforce.

So, what does that mean for local government?

The next wave of those leaving the workforce represent a key challenge in transferring knowledge. Many retirees hold senior positions and have irreplaceable industry knowledge and experience that others have not yet mastered. That why it’s imperative that a transition plan is put in place.

Strategizing the best ways to prepare your replacement(s) lets you develop a roadmap for what knowledge needs to be transferred, and can help identify skill gaps that may need to be addressed. We’ve put together best practices to make the transition easier and to help create a successful transition plan.


Five Tips on Preparing Your Office Before You Leave


1. Make sure to contact your software provider early

One of the best tools available to you when preparing your organization for your departure is your software provider. Reach out early to discuss the resources they can provide to train your replacements or an interim contact.

The key here is to not wait until the last minute to reach out. Even though your expert use of Harris software may be ‘common sense’ to you, it may take more time than you’d expect to train a replacement to function at a similar level. Retirements and their down line effects are something software providers are deeply familiar with. By reaching out early you’re doing your organization a true service by thinking ahead to prepare your replacement.


2. Don’t fully retire right now

If full retirement isn’t in your wheelhouse right now, working reduced or part-time hours may be a good fit. It can also help you financially and emotionally while supporting incoming employees. Studies show that many workers prefer to ease into retirement, and that 43% of workers envision a phased transition to retirement. A phased transition provides less stress, responsibility, and more flexible schedules.


3. Avoid Knowledge Silos

A key concern with retirees is that they leave with extensive knowledge without transferring it to their colleagues. In fact, fewer than 23% of employers encourage their employees to participate in succession planning, training, mentoring – a missed opportunity but one that you can easily resolve. One way to avoid this common mistake is to create plans to distill your knowledge in bi-weekly meetings, cross-training, and mentoring other workers to avoid knowledge loss.


4. Connect with Human Resources

Don’t fear your human resources department! Ask to sit down and review your organization’s retirement policy and if they offer retirement transition assistance. In a Retirement Survey for Employers 86% of employers say they offer some type of alternative work arrangement, such as flexible schedules and adjusted hours. This goes a long way in setting you up for success, and sharing knowledge as discussed in the tip above.


5. Create a checklist

Create a plan to help get you in order before your final day. First create a list of the responsibilities, duties, and tasks you perform. Next, outline key contacts with timelines outline important milestones such as; 3-4 months prior to retirement, one month prior to retirement, and after you retire. Another great resource is to ask your department head or human resources has a retirement checklist. If they don’t, you can utilize online resources such as this guide provided by the US Government.


There is no one-size-fits-all with retirement. Whether you choose to work reduced hours to help mentor younger staff or choose to spend your days full of family, friends, and activities, we hope these five tips will help guide you in preparing your office before you retire.


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