As some of the oldest Baby Boomers reach the traditional age of retirement, companies are faced with the potential loss of knowledge and skills. Transferring Boomer knowledge to a younger workforce does not come without challenges.
The workforce is ever-changing, but the divides that are happening are more drastic now than ever before. Today’s gap between older and younger workers is causing teamwork issues, hindering the growth of companies. Our youth can learn a lot from the older generations from their previous years of knowledge and experience. However, the older generation can learn equally if not more from the younger generation, due to their unique ability, and enthusiasm to adapt to developments in society, as well as their strong will to make a difference and impact change on the world.
Approximately 80 million Boomers are due to retire over the next 15 years. Luckily, this turnover is not likely to happen overnight. The youngest Baby Boomers are probably not quite thinking about retirement yet, while many older Boomers are resisting retirement and prefer to continue working for financial and personal reasons. As these Boomers prepare to leave the workforce, they will leave a noticeable gap; while organizations can easily fill those positions with willing employees, it may be harder to replace the specialized skills, knowledge, and on-the-job expertise that your Boomers accumulated over decades.
Will those valuable assets retire along with your oldest experts?
The organizational effort of attempting to keep the job knowledge of employees consistent despite the turnover is called knowledge transfer. Do not think of this as an “exit-interview” strategy where you sit down with a retiring employee a week before he leaves, to ask them everything they know about their job. Knowledge transfer is an organization-wide effort to build long-term knowledge continuity across the board.
How do you go about knowledge transfer?
There are many methods of transferring employee knowledge. For any of them to succeed, employers must be open-minded to sharing information, encourage employees to teach one another, and value the knowledge that individual employees hold.
As an experienced facilitator, Success Trek can help with the most effective knowledge transfer method: face-to-face interaction. Our unbiased perspective will help you discover the gaps that need to be filled and provide focused solutions to ensure the most effective transfer of knowledge.
There are many other simple changes that provide positive results. Contact us to discuss how Success Trek can strengthen your company from within.