Employees who immerse themselves in CSR projects make the transition to retirement far more easily than those who retire ‘cold’.
Evidence shows that taking the step from paid work to retiring completely can be tough for many, particularly those who don’t yet feel ready to step away from the world of employment.
A report from the Centre for Ageing Better noted: “Retirement from work is a major life transition. For many, retirement from paid employment is something to look forward to. But for others, retirement can pose many challenges and they find it difficult to adjust to their new role and circumstances. A report for the Department for Work and Pensions, on attitudes to extending working lives, finds that approximately 25% of retirees experience difficulties resulting in adverse psychosocial outcomes.”
One surprising answer to make that transition easier is regular involvement in a company’s CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility, activities.
Far from being simply a method for ramping up a company’s PR, CSR is transforming itself into a critical tool for core business. It has turned its attention away from garnering external praise and instead becomes a practical way for management to engage with employees and foster better working relationships.
Externally, of course, there are still plenty of benefits to be had with bridges built between corporation and community and tangible boosts for charities with volunteers taking time out to help on projects.
But if we return to the Baby Boomer worker fast approaching retirement, who faces a crisis of identity in their new role as a retiree, we can see how CSR can help ward off potential problems.
Volunteering is widely documented as a vehicle that benefits all those in the process. The organisations receiving a little extra staffing, the volunteer feeling great about what they’re contributing to society and lastly business itself. Building up relationships in teams, acknowledging causes that are close to your employees’ hearts and of course the positive soft and hard PR messages that can be drawn from the experience.
Allowing greater access to internally-driven CSR activities for a person approaching retirement is fast being recognised as a way of making that transition feel a happier and more purposeful stage in life.
Fikret Zendeli founder of Social Friday, an initiative that helps businesses plan regular CSR activities, said: “As much as CSR attracts the Millennial generation of workers, we’re looking at it helping the other end of the spectrum too. Isolation in retirement and a fear of becoming irrelevant is something that we’ve seen older people face but we know from our own research and experience that helping older people to integrate with a charity that they feel passionate about is extremely beneficial. It benefits the charity to have a person with a lot of experience and skills and gives purpose to a life outside of the workplace.”
How can you help your workforce make that transition towards retirement a better experience? Take a look at www.socialfriday.org for plenty of CSR ideas and support.