As millions of workers in the Baby Boomer generation prepare to retire, many businesses are feeling the effects in a negative way. Unlike today’s younger generations who are more comfortable switching from job to job, the Baby Boomers were brought up with the idea that the American dream included a steady job with one company for multiple decades (if not their entire career).
While this loyalty has served both the Boomers and their employers well, it could be a major challenge for businesses in the coming years. Boomers have held the keys to many businesses’ success for years. With their long tenure at one job, many of these employees have become well-versed in company knowledge. When they leave their positions to retire, they take that expertise with them, along with long-standing client relationships, product insights and other vital information.
With the older Baby Boomers now reaching the retirement age, what can employers do to make the transition easier?
Recognizing the need to document knowledge
The Financial Post covered the role of knowledge transfer as it pertains to employees leaving a job, whether for retirement or a different opportunity. In documenting the difficulties faced by these businesses, most business owners came to realize that the key to avoid these pitfalls was to find a suitable way to document and transfer company know-how to new employees.
Finding the keys to knowledge transfer
Some of the common challenges to knowledge transfer can be solved by taking a methodical approach to the task and breaking it into steps. One of the primary steps typically includes an evaluation of the current knowledge that will be lost when an employee retires. Then, it’s important to figure out a way of transferring that knowledge in a way that is useful to the company. Finally, a sharing mechanism has to be developed, whether it’s a training manual, a video or one-on-one training. Breaking this process down into manageable steps is a great way to figure out the key components of knowledge transfer.
Where to find help
Though you may be up to the task of transferring knowledge from one generation of employees to the next, you may not have the experience or tools to do so in the most efficient way possible. Consultants like The Steve Trautman Co. will help facilitate a smooth and effective transfer of knowledge that will contribute to the continued success of your company as the Baby Boomers depart for retirement.
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