Believe it or not, the time has come for baby boomers to trade in meetings and work weeks for some well deserved R&R. For my father-in-law however, the process of retirement—let alone the idea—is anything but relaxing.
With retirement only two years away, my father-in-law is certainly ready for the soothing life that comes after a long, successful career. Here’s what he had to say:
I have so many projects around my house that I’ve wanted to do for years. Its just so hard to believe that I’m finally going to have the time to do them. I honestly can’t wait.
So, when his company approached him and asked him to gather information on his social security history, he was anything but disappointed:
I was happy to embark on the researching process since after all, it meant that I’d be organized and worry-free come retirement.
Instead, all he found was headache after headache.
Turns out, his social security benefits package changed in 2010. This created an unexpected problem. Since he had not yet retired, the social security office claims they can not and will not provide him the financial history he needs to decipher whether it has affected what he’s already accrued. As he recalled:
The representative said that until I retire history and paperwork cannot be processed. I told them that my company needed the paperwork so they could prepare my retirement package, but that didn’t seem to matter.
Despite the difficulty he was encountering with the social security office, he had faith that his company would be able to proceed without the information. Again, he was wrong.
My company told me that without the history, they would have to make a decision on my social security without proper reference and I would therefore have to accept whatever was quoted—whether or not it was accurate.
Needless to say, after months of wasted time, effort, and sanity, my father-in-law is still in social security limbo. He is currently filing a petition with his company to have their policies changed so that other aspiring retirees don’t find themselves in the same difficult position he is currently in.
I won’t let this go. I’ve worked too hard for too long to make retirement a painstaking task.
As we have covered before, productivity consultants realize this type of work frustration results when we don’t make time to recognize and address broken processes. Stakeholders, particularly those who have dedicated many loyal years to their company, deserve to feel valued and in control of their career. Yet, as we learn from this story, allowing broken processes to remain undetected and unchanged only results in frustration.
Hopefully this situation will lead to a change at the company level. Perhaps this is the first time they’ve encountered such a problem. If they take the steps to fix this process, then while this hasn’t been ideal, at least it has been a learning experience. However, if they let the situation continue on until others have the same issue, then that’s where major, company-wide changes are likely needed. Admitting you were wrong and taking steps to ensure it won’t happen again is the first part of turning an average organization into an excellent one.
Don’t deny your employees what they deserve. If inefficiencies in your office are limiting stakeholder satisfaction, it’s time to re-evaluate and improve the areas that are creating the problem. Take the initiative to support them by contacting our consultants today. We’ll help you regain efficient, logical systems in your office by redirecting processes that improve stakeholders’ present and future. Everyone involved will thank you.