The Leaving of a Veteran

A former manager of a large Brazilian company of telecommunications, commenting on an article about the entry of a beginner to a company, recalled the departure of the veterans of the companies where he worked and said: “… the organization should care in labor replacement officiating a company’s checkout process, where the experienced employee who wants to quit should, under contract, to pass on all his experience for beginners … “. In fact, the output of a veteran is as traumatic as the arrival of a newcomer.

In general, companies are not prepared to lose their best resources and many of them do not put attention on the seniority of each of its experienced employees nor their intentions with regard to retirement. There is a false assumption that everyone wants to remain with the company for as long as possible, since they spent much of their lives in the organization. However, many employees know that there is work life after retirement, and today, with the world increased longevity, many people creates his second professional incarnation in the gym, in consultancies, NGOs and social services, in the development of a book, in a small business or small personal projects.

Both from the point of view of the employee as the company, these outputs can happen in two ways: In a consciously and quiet way or being felt with great intensity by both professional – that decreases dramatically his lifestyle, perhaps causing psychosomatic illnesses -, as for the company that loses its main features instantly without having a replacement compatible with the need of the job. For the outputs to be conscious and quiet, in a way that neither the company nor the employee may be affected, some steps are necessary to be followed:


Step 1: Regular meetings between HR and employees in pre-retirement phase on the next three years should be a constant in business. A basic question should be asked by HR to pre-retirement employees: What do you like to do after retirement? This question aims to at least make him think calmly about retirement, and at most help in the preparation and implementation of a professional life planning to this age group;

Step 2: A psychological and financial guidance are also two activities that could be facilitated by the company to the potential applicant to retirement;

Step 3: When an employee manifests a real next retirement desire by himself, a beginner should be hired as a trainee in the activities performed by the veteran, as a kind of first assistant, even creating a provisional situation of “over quota” in the company, aimed at preparing the new feature by the very experienced employee;


 Step 4: The HR should try to understand if the skills of veteran can get him to be useful to the company after retirement. For example, if he has a skill that can turn it into the company’s consultant for some time;

Step 5: The Company must make available to the veteran advisory tools, such as the legal department and accounting of the company for those who want to open a legal entity, or the training and development area and the company’s library for those who want to join the academy. These attitudes can guarantee the company a possible help of the former employee in his new occupation to meet any company’s future demand;

Step 6: A ceremony or celebration to register the employee’s departure: A thank ritual and appreciation of the person who contributed so much to the organization, encouraging his new post-retirement activity with a gift related to it, produces on the veteran an invigorating effect of closing a cycle and opening the next, and transmit to the beginner, who has been following the veteran recently, an honor to be part of an organization that truly recognizes the value of its members;


 Step 7: Keep alive for a while the memory of the former employee retired – through invitations to the birthday festivities of the company or for an informal lunch together with their fellow workers on his birthday -, strengthens the bond of respect and fellowship between the business board and the former employee, regarding that he may be useful to the company in a possible need of using the veteran skills, whether in his new activity, whether in an emergency situation of the company;

Step 8: The health insurance company, which served both the employee and his family during their stay in the company, could be offered to the retiree as an option to commercial health plans, at fair prices, bringing to the company a volume of participants in his plan that could be useful in a trading values ​​next to entities providing this type of service.

In short, it is very easy to leave a veteran unceremoniously or concerns, on the grounds that the market is full of manpower prepared to occupy any function in companies. However, in this case there are two fundamental considerations to be made: The example is passed in the treatment of a veteran as a basis for the degree of commitment of a novice with the organization; after all, he will be a veteran one day. Furthermore, the best sellers of the image and products of a company are its employees, whether or not on active duty, because they can and want to talk properly and with knowledge about the company they work for or have worked.

It is up to the Company the decision to have more and more allies or critical.


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