Evergreen ROI: How Social/Emotional Retirement Planning Can Benefit Your Business

September 18, 2018 by Josh Hrala

It can be hard for companies to fully understand the ROI of retirement planning. After all, retirement is all about offboarding a late-career employee and how much of an impact can an offboarding event truly have on the over all organization?

A lot!

Yes, if you want your business to continue marching forward into the future, you need to make sure you handle retirements with the utmost care.

To dig into that a bit deeper, we’ve decided to explore how using a program like Evergreen can seriously help your overall company.

Let’s get started.

First, What Is Evergreen?

Evergreen is a holistic retirement planning program that helps employees understand the social/emotional side of retiring by helping them look at the bigger picture. For far too long, retirement planning has only been about financials, ignoring how lifestyles change.

Without proper lifestyle planning and exploration, upcoming retirees may feel a lot of stress when it comes to planning their next chapter, forcing some retirees to delay retirement beyond the point that they could really enjoy it. This could cause resentment, affecting both the hurt individual’s engagement and even productivity.

This is where Evergreen comes in.

Here’s Careerminds’ Vice President of Business Development Tracy Grajewski with more details:

“Evergreen begins with a lifestyle-based assessment and personal coaching supplemented by a thorough learning experience.

“We focus on educating and empowering later-career individuals so they can plan their transition from the full-time, corporate setting to their next life experiences while still employed – this could also include contributing differently at your organization. Our clients are using Evergreen to introduce creative workforce strategies like phased retirement or “project corps” that help them retain experienced team members to provide knowledge transfer or staffing for project-oriented work or technology changes – a “win win” for both parties.”

It’s pretty clear that Evergreen can have a huge impact on employees. You can read about a participant’s experience within the program here. But does it have an ROI for the company, too?

Of course! Here are a two major ones to consider.

Evergreen ROI: Better Financial Planning

Like we mentioned above, the conversation around retirement has largely focused on how much a retiree needs to save to make the switch out of full-time work and into retirement.

And that’s really, really important. Don’t get us wrong.

In order to retire successfully, retirees have to have a firm understanding of how much money they will need to save.

The problem is that everyone’s different. Not only do people work different jobs that pay different rates and salaries, but people have tremendously different lifestyles. So, when a person searches online to see how much they should save for retirement, they are often greeted by ‘rule of thumb’ recommendations that try to be as broad as possible.

A better way to plan for the financial side of retirement is to actually sit down and explore what the retiree wants to do when they make the move. This will allow them to properly estimate how much savings they need to put aside.

HR leaders, and companies overall, struggle to entice many of their workers to save as much as they should even though many companies offer robust retirement savings plans. By helping show staff members just how much they will need, HR and other leaders can help more people start saving for when they need it.

Looking out for your employees, starting the conversation early, and helping them reach their goals will definitely make them more productive and less likely to suddenly retire and walk out the door one day.

This is why we suggest offering Evergreen alongside your existing financial planning services. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle.

Evergreen ROI: Knowledge Retention

Another big problem organizations have when it comes to retirement planning is how to retain valuable knowledge and skills across generations.

As the Baby Boomers start to make their exit, knowledge retention problems are at an all time high. And the best way to handle problems like this is to work closely with your retirees to ensure that whoever will take over their role is properly trained and ready for action.

This is why we also suggest Evergreen be a part of your phased retirement plan.

With a longer runway for retirees, you can use their training time to help your organization plan for the future.

For example, you can help your retiree fully understand the transition they are about to go through by having them mentor their future replacement. At the same time, that replacement can help your retiree understand how to navigate finding a new job – full-time or part-time – how to start an online business, or how to join up with a non-profit.

The world of retirement is changing. Baby Boomers – who, a few years ago, everyone thought were going to step down immediately after reaching the age of 65 – are working longer, taking on new roles post-retirement, and are looking at ways to have their work-life align with their values.

Does that last part sound a bit familiar? It’s probably because Millennials – the generations currently saturating the workforce – believe the same thing.

We call this reverse mentoring.

It’s when you have members of two different generations come together and teach each other valuable lessons about both work and life. Millennials can learn a lot from Baby Boomers and vice-versa.

By enacting a reverse mentoring program, you can also help retain knowledge across the board, training future leaders for their roles, while also helping upcoming retirees learn more about the digital world we live in and prepare them to get back into the job market or start their own projects. It’s a win-win for both parties and a big win for your organization.

Not to mention, leadership development is a huge plus for Millennials, a generation that moves from job to job quickly in order to move up the ladder. By providing a clear path to promotion, you can retain these workers more and more, allowing your late-career workers the opportunity and tool kit to retire on their terms.

Evergreen ROI: The Takeaways

When it comes to the later stages of the employee lifecycle, many organizations simply ignore just how important offboarding – in all of its forms – can be.

For retirees, especially in today’s age, retirement means moving onto the next chapter of life. It is no longer the end of their careers. Instead, it’s a transition into something else.

But what is that something else? Well, it depends on the person, but if the person is never trained to consider what this move means to them on a social/emotional level, prompted to explore how their lifestyle will change, or given the tools they need to navigate the ever changing job market, they may fail and retire unsuccessfully.

Evergreen fills the gap. Instead of focusing on merely the financial side of retirement, Evergreen looks at the whole move, what it means to the retiree and what it means to the business.

Evergreen makes a wonderful addition to programs you may already have, such as savings plans like 403(b)s, 401ks, etc. It can also shore up your phased retirement plans by helping retirees understand what will come next and giving your future leaders a direct line of communication with current leaders at your company.

In the end, Evergreen in a great tool to foster knowledge transfer and help retirements move smoothly for both the retirees and the businesses that they are retiring from.

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Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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