In today’s business world, baby boomers represent a large percentage of employees who are poised to retire from the workforce within the next decade. While many professionals who replace these workers may hold better credentials, many of them lack the experience and practical knowledge that baby boomers have that help to enhance the success of the organizations they work for. Part of what makes any company a success is its ability to harness knowledge from its employees. The knowledge transfer system is an important component of succession planning that often gets overlooked. It can give any business the competitive edge it needs to continue attracting and retaining top talent across a variety of industries. Although organizations tend to recruit professionals who have stellar credentials, those certifications and degrees aren’t the only desirable traits that prospective and current employees should have. Employees should have current and past experiences to help shape the face and success of the companies they work for. Much of that experience should be passed down through the ranks to employees who lack that experience. However, not all knowledge is worth having. Here are some practical ways to help prevent the passing of confusing or useless information and to facilitate the transfer of more beneficial information.
There are varying degrees of knowledge and skill in any organization, regardless of one’s position and credentials. No matter if two employees share the same role, duties and work habits, you need to distinguish them from each other. A person that is a high achiever will almost always meet work objectives and targets, and is often best suited for supervisory and management positions. However, there is another type of worker you should pay close attention to as they can be more beneficial to your knowledge transfer system. This individual is often a good worker, but they are not one that is promoted to management and higher level positions. They are often the person that other workers in your organization go to for information and assistance because they are relatable and have relevant practical and personal experience that can be shared. This type of individual is one who should be used to establish and manage your organization’s knowledge transfer initiatives.
Implement Employee Big Brother and Sister Programs
No matter their pay grade or position, most employees can benefit from mentoring from their peers. Implement an open door policy so employees who need assistance or guidance feel encouraged to seek mentoring and coaching when it is needed and wanted. Also, pairing individuals up with a big brother or sister can also help to improve the flow of knowledge between those with less experience and professionals who have more valuable knowledge and skills to share.
Establish Training Exercises
Training is an ongoing faction of your organization that should encompass a variety of areas. Motivate individuals who have experience and knowledge to share and give presentations and manage training exercises so they can relay their past critical experiences to others. Their past experiences whether they are successes or failures can serve as lessons to other employees to help improve their critical thinking, problem solving and resolution skills.
Encourage Job Mirroring
Shadowing shouldn’t just be for new employees. When employees are struggling in certain areas, set aside time for them to shadow others who have more experience and practical knowledge to improve their chances of succeeding in their roles. Establishing a job shadowing program in which workers can apply to shadow others to make themselves more productive can help to improve the way your organization runs.
Have Frequent Problem Solving Powwows
In order to improve company culture and knowledge transfer, one has to have activities in place that encourage employees to mix and mingle with their coworkers and peers. During these get-togethers, workers who have desirable traits and work ethic should be elected to share stories of their most difficult experiences and the actions they took to resolve them. While you are doing everything possible to recruit and retain top notch talent, don’t forget to harness the knowledge your retiring workforce has. Start now by making knowledge transfer apart of every work process you can. Not only will this help to improve communications and work culture all across the board, it will also help to enhance the current skillset and knowledge of your current and new employees so that vital skills and expertise are not lost. For more information on how you can improve your organization’s knowledge transfer processes and succession management, feel free to utilize the resources here at Mighty Recruiter to do so.