If you are an IT leader long enough, you will deal with a team member’s retirement. While similar to any person leaving a position, you may get more than two weeks notice, which can be helpful.
If you have a little more time, here are some things to consider.
- Try to hire the replacement before they leave. This is especially important for positions that rely on deep experience and knowledge about the company. The more overlap, the better the transition.
- The person retiring probably doesn’t know all the different things they do. Have them write it down and categorize.
- Look for tasks or knowledge they should transfer to others in the team.
- Focus their final projects on getting rid of technical debt where they are the only one that knows anything about the old stuff.
- Writing long technical documents is rarely at the top of anyone’s fun list. Consider alternatives like recording a session where they explain how part of a system works. This can be a recorded screen share session or a simple smartphone recording a video.
- The replacement will not have the organizational or technical history that the retiring employee does, so consider a recorded session on critical parts.
A retiring employee means that lots of information, history, and skills are walking out the door. If you are given the gift of extra time, use it wisely.