Retirement is something that impacts small, mid-size, and big businesses alike. It can be difficult for some leaders to give up control over something they’ve worked so hard to build. Approximately 12 million Baby Boomers also happen to be executives and business owners, and most of them will be eligible for retirement in the foreseeable future. Yet, close to half of CEOs still don’t have transition plans for when they leave. Below are some potential exit strategies that can help businesses maintain value and adapt to executives facing retirement.
Develop a Plan
Perhaps this is the best advice that executive recruiters can offer to owners and leaders considering retirement. Rather than continue working in the business, start working on it by focusing on other responsibilities that can help grow it, like marketing. The decision to either sell the business or transfer ownership to current employees gets more accessible when the right employees are hired and appropriately trained. Then, organizations should model a plan similar to this for managing the wave of retiring workers.
- Decide organizational goals. Surveys and focus groups are effective ways to discover what the needs of employees and the company are.
- Determine what you want from employees. Do you want to promote internally for C-suite positions or recruit external candidates? Even though external candidates tend to have more experience, employment data suggests that they are more likely to be fired than those hired from within.
- Aggressively promote the succession plan. Ensure that employees understand eligibility by holding educational meetings.
Recruit Successors Earlier
It’s easier for organizations to prepare for retirements than other forms of turnover because they can usually predict the who and when. Multilevel succession plans can help small businesses develop talent to hedge against executives retiring. Alternatively, companies can partner with C-level recruiters to hire a successor as soon as possible to shadow the outgoing executive and gain knowledge transfer.
To Retire or Not to Retire
For those executives unsure if now is the right time to exit the workforce, some red flags can help. For instance, retirement might be the best option if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing or don’t feel challenged anymore. Other people opt for retirement for personal reasons such as health, family obligations, etc. Some industries are evolving so rapidly that businesses could benefit from fresh leadership.
A strong succession plan is the best way for businesses to overcome the wave of retiring executives. It should combine transparent retirement policies and internal successor development programs. Otherwise, recruiters are yet another valuable resource that can help you adapt.