English/2017-12-05

De Octet.ca

[modifier] Teething problems

There were a few teething problems to capture the carbon at the electrical plan:

  1. There were a few shutdowns at the plant;
  2. The emission target was missed;
  3. Unresolved technological problems;
  4. Costs had soared, for new equipment and repairs;
  5. Some tweaks had to be done.

[modifier] Hiring a consultant that was a former employee

When a colleague retires, there is 50% chance that you will soon see him back in the workplace. But this time, he will be a consultant.

They are a few reasons explaining why this happens. First, it adds new resources, because the retiree will be replaced by a new person, and he himself will be back in another position. In short, there are now two people instead of one person.

Second, the funds to hire a consultant does not come from the same fund as the permanent staff. These funds, for human resources on one hand and contracts on the other hand, can not be transferred from one envelope to another. Thus, hiring a consultant uses funds that can't be used to hire someone in a permanent position. Technically, the same money is not used to pay the retiree in the position he left.

Finally, there is no training required when you hire a freshly retired employee. This is one of the main advantages, because the training of a new employee is a long process, especially at higher levels. He can start right away on projects he is already aware of, if not involved in. In other words, this is a good way of investing money in a specific project.

On the flip side, there are problems caused by this. As a matter of fact, it hinders the management's set up for a transition period with his replacement. Since the retiree will still be on the premises, the management doesn't see an urgent need for transferring the knowledge to another person. This is not a wise move, because while the date of retirement is known in advance, this is not the case for a contract with a consultant. The latter can be stopped at any moment, by lack of funding or by a new policy put in place. The replacement of a retiree can be better planned than replacing a consultant.

Another down side of this situation is the relationship between the consultant and his former colleagues. The relations between a colleague and a consultant are not the same, technically speaking. The latter are not bound by the government rules, they are not linked with performance agreements and other employee-manager relationship. This can raise potential problems, especially when the retiree is a former manager. How do you interact with someone who was, not long ago, many levels higher in the organisation than an employee? Coupled with the fact that this person is probably good friend with your own manager(s), this can lead to an uncomfortable situation when you have to work with him. How do you interact with him if you disagree on a topic?

Given these points, a solution could be that a retiree could be hired as a consultant, but only for a fixed and short period of time. Six months seems a good start. This way, the positive aspect of this would be included, and the negative sides would be alleviated. You could still double your position, but you would have a fix period of time to train a replacement. And if you din't agree with the consultant, you would know that after 6 months, it would be over. And 6 months is a short period of time, especially at our age!

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