July 24, 2014
In addition to the typical attrition all companies experience, there is a bigger concern looming out there: what will you do when institutional knowledge is walking out the door in droves? The Baby Boomers are approaching retirement when they, along with their expertise, will be ready to walk out the company doors.
This is something all organizations should be thinking about in order to capitalize on this talent pool before it is too late. Here are a few of our favorite strategies to partner, retain and tap into this vast resource pool to prepare for the generational workforce shift:
* Mix up project team members to include representatives across multiple generations for knowledge transfer and first hand observation of best practices.
* Establish mentor programs to prepare bright young candidates to take on new positions.
* Define part-time engagement roles for retiring staff to retain them as project consultants, internal training leaders, contributors to the company blog as thought leaders.
* Client relationship skills do not develop overnight; pair your seasoned client managers/partners with up and coming stars. Let them silently ride along, observe, then ask your managers to brief them post-meeting on what evolved and why things were handled the way they were. It takes years to learn how to successfully navigate certain client relationships, especially when there are politics or sensitive egos at play. Sharing this as a history lesson will help young managers build on your companies success and avoid potential land-mines.
* Use of a collaboration solution that captures the decision making process and simultaneously creates a knowledge database.
* Create virtual communities connecting similarly disciplined employees that do not typically work together on the same teams. This allows them to engage in best practice conversations, share advice, examples and even close the generational gap with the “virtual water cooler” type chatter. In our own experiences we often see a dedicated conversation created to share business related videos or other forms of entertainment, like the Dilbert article that hits your current biggest challenge square on the nose. This creates nice camaraderie among a virtual workforce.
Social collaboration can enable this transformation by connecting people across your organization in a dynamic environment intended for conversation-centric engagement. If you are ready to explore a social collaboration platform to prepare your organization for the next 10-20 years, check out our new eBook.