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Your Final Step Toward Creating an Innovative Climate: Relevance in Retirement!

Congratulations! You have provoked a new day within your organization. You now have a more meaningful relationship with your people. New employees feel cared for and trusted. Existing employees now have a new sense of engagement, and everyone feels more important and meaningful to the organization. You are now ready for the biggest and best return on investment that you could ever imagine.

Instead of a gold watch, give your retirees the opportunity to remain relevant and meaningful. They have years of knowledge and insight into the organization. They know the lessons learned in many departments. Even if these legacy employees have not been a part of your new meaningful relationship campaign, they see what’s happening and will soon leave their “knowledge nest” to start a new life in retirement.

I retired in 2015. I was a knowledge employee in a technology industry. I wanted an easier life. I wanted to stop getting up every day and going to work. I wanted more time for other activities, like golf and travel. However, I yearned to remain relevant. I had knowledge that could help my previous organization. I wanted a meaningful relationship where my years of experience could be applied at my discretion on my timetable. I call it “KNOWLEDGE TETHERING.” It represents an extension of your initiative to instantiate a more human approach from the day you start to the day you decide that being relevant on a daily basis is no longer your choice.

Getting back to the reward for retired relevance, I found that, most often, being relevant means you remain meaningful. Being meaningful is what humans crave; being relevant is a reward. Imagine the future of a company that does this rite. Say they have 200 full-time employees and 100 retirees who continue to inject intellectual capital into the company. That’s when you’ll begin to understand the real power of the knowledge economy.

Your emotional intelligence (EQ) can unleash intelligence quotient (IQ) not only in the company but those leaving the company who have amassed a considerable amount of intellectual capital. Capital that you can continue to leverage.

This is possible only if you:

  • Got them to care about your future
  • Trusted them with your problems
  • Asked them to think of your solutions
  • Listened to their individual opinions
  • Let them engage where they can best contribute
  • Rewarded them for your momentum
  • Invited retirees to continue to be meaningful and relevant

All this talk of EQ and human optimization may seem too warm and fuzzy for many of you, but that’s okay. There are plenty of old-school command-and-control outfits out there for you to join. You’ll probably notice a rather high attrition rate among younger employees and retirees are simply gone. In a knowledge economy, optimizing the intellectual bandwidth around you is the secret to your success.

The cost of using your retiree’s intellectual bandwidth is minimal—not using puts many, many years of direct experience out of your reach.

Note: This post is the final step in a blog series authored by Rite-Solutions co-founder Jim Lavoie about Simple Steps to Creating an Innovative Climate in Your Organization. The preceding post in the series is Your Seventh Step Towards Creating an Innovative Climate: Make Thinking Fun! 

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