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Announcing my retirement to teleworking staff
Old 02-18-2016, 08:11 PM   #1
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Announcing my retirement to teleworking staff

A week Monday I will announce my retirement after 25 years of work, and after two years in my current position. I have 46 staff, of whom 26 work from home three days a week. I won't say that I am close to many of the staff, as I usually work through their managers, but I think they do like me as I brought calm and stability after a long period of upheaval. The question is, should I ask them all to come in for a "staff meeting" at which I will announce my departure? Or just let those who are teleworking that day read the email when it goes out? It seems kind of narcissistic to make them change their schedules to hear my wonderful news. Some of them won't care much, while others will find the email to bed impersonal. There is no one day when they are all in the office.

Teleworking is new to my part of the organization, so there is no precedent, or anyone I can turn to for advice.

Anyone out there who has teleworked who can give me their perspective?
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:24 PM   #2
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Presumably you plan to tell your supervisor before making this announcement. He or she should be the first to know, and should have input into your communication plan. He or she should not be blindsided and should have time to consider a response to the inevitable questions that staff will ask.

If you have 46 people reporting to you it will not be possible to tell them all individually. Key people may need a one on one conversation just after you meet with your supervisor. A staff meeting would be the best way to announce this to all your direct reports, but I am not sure they would appreciate having to come in for this alone. IMHO the ideal forum is a regular staff meeting that can have "HR issues" on the agenda. This can be a videoconference. That is how I handled this situation.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:28 PM   #3
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Why not do a conference call, or a Webex session? There is no need for them to come in.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:35 PM   #4
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Obviously, notify your superiors first. Manager, and possibly HR.

When you are ready for the news to go public - send an email to the group.

I would *not* call a special meeting just to announce. If there is a meeting or conference call with your managers below you - consider announcing there prior to the blast to the team.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for these views. I should provide some more details. Supervisor has known for a few months. HR knows. Colleagues will find out t hat morning. Direct reports will find out an hour or so before. We have a quarterly branch meeting for half a day with speakers, presentations, but there isn't one coming up, so that's not an option.

I should think about the teleconference option. We haven't done it before, so people will know some thing's up, but I guess I could just schedule it on the day, and whoever do shows up shows up.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for these views. I should provide some more details. Supervisor has known for a few months. HR knows. Colleagues will find out t hat morning. Direct reports will find out an hour or so before. We have a quarterly branch meeting for half a day with speakers, presentations, but there isn't one coming up, so that's not an option.

I should think about the teleconference option. We haven't done it before, so people will know some thing's up, but I guess I could just schedule it on the day, and whoever do shows up shows up.
Be careful not to stress them out by doing something out of the ordinary. Some might be concerned they are going to lose THEIR job!
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
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Be careful not to stress them out by doing something out of the ordinary. Some might be concerned they are going to lose THEIR job!
I agree. If there is no timely opportunity to get all these people together, even by videoconference, you might as well just send an email to all of them simultaneously.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:08 PM   #8
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I agree. If there is no timely opportunity to get all these people together, even by videoconference, you might as well just send an email to all of them simultaneously.
In your email, you could also define several "online office hours" and in-person sessions where you'll be available in an online meeting or meeting room/your office for folks in the org who want to drop in and chat. Congrats with this development!
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:16 AM   #9
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Perhaps you could attach a short video to your e-mail?
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:28 AM   #10
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multi call skype or similar.

I worked remote from a start up that had several locations... and a few other working from where they happen to be. We used skype, google and a couple other similar programs.

I would assume you had some method of having a group meeting remotely.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:06 AM   #11
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I worked in a different location from both my manager and all of my team members when I ER'd. Our staff meetings were all conducted by conference call and web meetings so I just announced it that way. One thing to consider is that people will have questions and it is easier on everyone (especially you) if you can answer them once rather than over and over individually.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:35 AM   #12
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Thank you again for this advice. I spoke to my direct reports in small groups through the day, and after lunch I booked a branch meeting for later in the afternoon under the guise of celebrating National Cupcake Day, which is a real thing. (Staff still can't get over their boss baking for them.) There were a lot of people in the office, and the rest were invited to join by teleconference. Since the teleworkers come in two days a week, we don't use video. I am glad you talked me out of asking everyone to come in to hear me talk about myself . That didn't feel right. I tried to anticipate the questions about succession and transition, so there were n't many questions after.

Everyone is happy for me, envious of me, and warrants to know how I invest. Nine weeks to go!
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:27 PM   #13
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Excellent, Davis65! Glad our experience was helpful. Hope you have a nice big wall calendar where you're crossing off the days.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:06 AM   #14
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Who the heck calls a meeting to announce a retirement? Are you stepping down from the board? Are you a ceo?

The reality is its not a big deal to most people. Its only a big deal to you. No one will really care and it may be awkward.

Not trying to sound harsh since it is a big deal to retire...im just being honest.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:27 PM   #15
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ponyboy, I'm director of a branch of 45 people. The head of the organization had left the Thursday before. He was very well liked because he had brought in a period of stability after three major reorgs and lots of lay-offs. People are skittish about change, so the meeting was about organizational stability, and how our mandate and strategic plan will provide stability to the organization (and implied job security), and there will be more change, but that shouldn't be scary. I announced my departure and that an ad would be run to hire my replacement before I leave so transition should be seemless. It went over well. One member of staff said she was going to file a grievance with the union to stop me from leaving. Plus, I baked cupcakes. I haven't heard any negative reaction for having called a meeting.
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