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Sandeep - Article

Sandeep - Article

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Published by sandeep k krishnan
Article in human resource management, talent management, post retirement options.
Article in human resource management, talent management, post retirement options.

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Published by: sandeep k krishnan on May 08, 2009
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02/01/2011

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MAY 2009
 hr issues
own business or involve fulltime in an already existing one, venture into the entertainment world. Whileretirement of a sports person is driven by factors likeage, inability to take stress of sports after an age, and ispurely driven by inability to consistently show form inplaying, the phasing out of a professional is quick andabrupt driven by the age factor of retirement. The growthof knowledge professionals has created a differentperspective to this outlook. Is a healthy professor (may be one of the best) not suitable to teach just as hereaches the age of 60? Is a great scientist no longer ableto contribute to an institution or nation after the age of 65? Or simply put, is a competent HR professional nolonger required in his profession?
Exploring the scenario
The current generation that is going to retire at the age
W
hat would a Sachin Tendulkar or aDavid Beckham do after retiring from a sports career? Options aremany. They will be a coach, aselector, do commentary, start their
What are the challenges and opportunities for organizations to have  productive associations with retiring  professionals, what are the possible options for retiring professionals,and what does the  future hold? 
oneself, one's family and social activities. Many chooseto do this and look forward to the same, while sacrificing professional competence.On the other hand, studies in the west show that asmany as 70% people would like to continue in someprofession or another to keep them busy. Many even wish that their regular job continues. In an Indian urbancontext, this can also be a bigger challenge with thenuclear families setting in and difficulty to connectregularly with near and dear ones. The opportunity andchallenge here is the scope of re-engaging in any formof professional engagement.Many options exist for a professional afterretirement. However, a lot depends on the preparationsthat enable the transition and life attitude andperceptions. Psychologically, retirement is one phase inthe occupation, which would lead either to personalsatisfaction and self fulfillment with contribution toorganization, society, family and self or jobdiscontentment, sense of low self worth, and negativeoutlook to organization and society. This ultimately leadsto positive or negative orientation to life. Either way it
second innings
28
of 60 would have joined the work force during the early 70s. We set policies of employment based onconsiderations of creating jobs, job security, andopportunities for young people. Also imagine themanagement scenario. People just got promoted by  years of service. No words like succession planning andcareer management had many takers or need. Publicsector dominated the scene as well. However, as a wholeit created a great set of people who were ready to expandthe horizon with the opening up of the economy,information revolution, and increased need of professionals. Many of them rechristened quickly tothe new roles. A new challenge arises as these professionals reachthe retirement age. Early management professionals,seasoned leaders, academicians, and many moreprofessional experts who have seen the times of theLicense Raj, as well as new age industries are suddenly facing the challenge of finding avenues for channelizing their talent to productive purposes.
Managing the transition
 A retirement has many more dimensions rather justcessation of a regular job. Quite clearly, for an individualthis is the time of quick change, especially for those who are at the peak of their careers and power status. Itis a time of confusion, uncertainty, and definitely planning. One of the choices is to pursue purely life-related aspects and have an understanding of moving away from the professional realm. This entails time for
By Prof K Kunhikrishnan & Dr. Sandeep K. Krishnan
 
MAY 2009
reflects the life cycle and the options possible for post-retirement life. The happiness one feels or the attitudetowards others would largely depend on the outcome when one retires from the career. The positively orientedmay go for better options whereas the frustrated andnegatively oriented would opt out and insulate.Devanathan, 68 years old now, is excited about the
LIFE ASPECTS
More time for oneself and with the family
Plans for exploring various hobbies
Engaging in more social roles
Rest and relaxation
Spiritual pursuits
Developing social networks
Catching up with friends, and relatives
Health management
PROFESSIONAL ASPECTS
Moving out of operational roles
Regular salary income might cease
Power status with designation and roles might cease
Feeling of frustration of lack of channels to expressone's talent and knowledge or freedom from jobdemands
Moving out of regular professional networks
Continuing professional credibility
Developing different equations with the professional networks
Sudden feeling of more time and less productivity
29
 hr issues
balance that he has in personal and professional life.Retired close to 8 years back, the transition was not sotough for Devanathan. A mechanical engineer by profession, Devanathan had worked in variouscapacities with Tata Steel. While he was heading maintenance for Tata Steel, one of the vendors of TataSteel, GE, was interested in getting help from Devanathanin understanding their client needs and better. While with GE, he was complimenting the chemical engineersto have a better understanding of Tata Steel's operations.Soon Devanathan was contacting many other clients of GE in specific areas of mechanical engineering operations. This also got him in touch with JSW steel where they wanted him to be a consultant on a morecontinuous basis. That made it easier for Devanathanmove to JSW steel as an advisor. As he himself puts it,"These assignments made me a pure professional. Icould voice the opinion to the best of my knowledge. Also my suggestions getting accepted and not acceptedare also learning. I no longer have any worries regardinformal designations or higher compensation."The next move was much more interesting for him.He took up a role with a small company which wasplanning to set up a plant as a joint venture with aGerman steel plant equipment supplier. This called fora more focused approach from his side and he agreedto work for them, mostly from home. He set up his ownoffice at home and conducted a series of plannedmeetings with the clients. Some of the key challengesthat Devanathan had to face in his second career were
 
MAY 2009
 hr issues
30
to balance the work life demands, move into a purely advisory role, set expectations of an advisory role, andmanage networks. The key was to not disturb thebalance that he wanted from the second career and funfrom life. Another example is of Professor Dr. Manoharan, who retired as deputy director of collegiate educationhaving jurisdiction over 25 colleges of Thrissur andPalakkad districts of Kerala state. He was the Principalof 5 Government colleges before that. He retired 6 yearsback having been intensely involved in both academicand administrative functions. Dr.Manoharan had abackground of commerce having further focused onmanagement studies. Immediately after retirement, he was contacted to nurture a new institute in managementby a veteran management Guru in Kerala. Although it was considered to be a post retirement opportunity,this was equally or more challenging for him. As anassociate dean of the institute, he was responsible forthe academic, administration and teaching activities. As he puts it, "I have never worked so hard in my entirecareer". The efforts at the institute did pay off and hehad multiple offers coming from across the state tohelp them set up and be a lead professor in his subjectsand personal development programs.Dr. Manoharan also got involved as an invited boardmember with Manappurum General Finance andLeasing Ltd, a NBFC from Kerala, putting his efforts inprofessionalizing of management and training. As anindependent director, he is now helping in corporategovernance and setting standards for human resourcemanagement. He continues to get involved in many professional activities like development of regionalmanagement associations, social activities like publiclibrary and lectures in various management institutes. As a state President of Govt College Teachers'Organization, President of Gazetted Officers Union,Chairman of Commerce Education Promotion Council,Member of the Syndicate and Senate of the University of Calicut, he is widely known in varied circles. Dr.Manoharan believes that networking definitely helps inpost retirement plans and the key is to select assignmentsthat give professional satisfaction. His advice: Stay away from any commitments that might be ethically challenging. As his passion for building and developing management institutes is still profoundly burning in him,he has become a much sought-after person by thepromoters of b-schools. According to V P Nandakumar, a veteran in the fieldof NBFC and Chairman of Manappuram Group of companies, senior retired professionals like Dr.Manoharan provide two distinct advantages. They havedeep knowledge in areas where there are lack of experienced professionals in the market and also proventrack record of integrity that helps him make them asounding board for critical decisions.The transition may also call for a lot of adjustmentand change. A simple example is the availability of support mechanisms. A senior professional in a regular job might have assistants, secretarial staff, and accessto plethora of other support mechanisms. Anotheraspect of a regular job is that expectations are clear andset in terms of goals. Many things are also expected tofall into place because of the power structure. Thearrangements post-retirement might havefundamentally different orientation. Supportmechanisms need to be created on need basis, powercomes from influence and knowledge support, time andresults commitments become more adhoc, andcontracts are aligned more with the outcomes.
 AREA 
AcademicsConsultingAdvisors/ BoardmembersNon profitPart time assignmentEntrepreneurial Ventures
POSSIBILITIES
A highly regarded professional is much in demandin academia. This is true especially in fields likemanagement and science. While guest lecturesare routine that a professional might have engagedin regular life itself. Here they can engage as apermanent/adjunct faculty.Being an independent consultant to organizationsbringing in thought leadership and assisting intransformational projects.In this the association with the organization ismore independent and beyond consulting involvedin strategic thoughts with more responsibilities.Working with NGOs in an advisory role. Volunteerfor government programmes.Having a part time job. This might be a flexi optionin the current job during transition.Setting up own ventures.
PREPARATION
It would be important to have the habit of preparing/delivering sessions. Another importantpart is to keep in touch with the academic worldand their needs. Many institutions also invite seniorprofessionals to be part of their subject boards.Finishing a PhD might add a lot of value.Create a sense of depth in one of the areas wherethe past experience and knowledge can be utilized.An example would be a senior professional becoming a recruitment consultant.Contacts and strong lineage of contributing tocorporate governance. CXO level interactionsContact with NGO activities. Requirements of NGOs.Volunteering spirit.Specific skills sets / relationship with themanagement.Setting up a team, networking, funding, businessplan development.

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