Share the Wealth of Knowledge
July 9th, 2015 by tds admin
Take a good look around your company. How many of your workers have been on the job for 10 years, 20 years or even 30 years and more? And how much of their knowledge and expertise has been recorded to pass down to incoming and future workers?
Experts estimate that baby boomers are retiring from their jobs and taking their knowledge with them, leaving management and other stakeholders competitively disadvantaged.
To remain viable, companies must find better ways to leverage the valuable information their experienced workers have gained during their careers and share it with younger workers who relate better to modern learning technologies than to traditional knowledge sharing methods.
Plan for the next generation
The first step to effective knowledge transfer is developing a strategy. It’s important to recognize that the future needs of your organization are different than they were in the past, so a new generation of workers can help your business move forward, but only if their training requirements are met. Younger workers learn in dramatically different ways than the previous generation, so to train them properly you have to provide them with modern learning technologies and techniques they can relate to.
In order to retain these – and future – employees, companies need to be innovative. A well-defined strategy that keeps new employees engaged in continuous learning may prevent them from seeking other employment.
Your strategy should include collecting abundant information from your experienced workers before they retire. Without this valuable information, it will take longer to transition new workers to higher-level positions and train them to handle critical situations.
Another component of your strategy should be to determine what level your younger workers are at currently and whether or not they could move up. How do you measure this? An assessment of current capabilities coupled with an understanding of learning gaps will help you to determine who is ready to go to the next level, and in what areas others need to be trained to get to that level.
Invest in training now to benefit your future
According to ATD’s State of the Industry report, there is a direct correlation between the amount of money spent on training and the profitability of the company. Budgeting upfront for knowledge transfer and training so you can do it right the first time is an investment in the company’s future.
There are a variety of training formats available today besides the traditional classroom. Prudent companies that want to maximize their training investment look for the best match between the learners and their environments. There is no “one size fits all.”
Always consider culture
The culture of a company is an extremely important factor. Motivation to learn new processes and eliminate bad ones depends on the openness and safety of the cultural work environment. For this to happen, the entire organization needs to be involved in the continuous development of its people. Leaving training to only one department or pretending that shadowing alone is an effective means to knowledge transfer can waste valuable resources, as these methods are outdated and have been proven inadequate.
Though money and benefits are important aspects in any job, people want to get up every day and enjoy going to their job. To bring in new employees and retain them, an organization has to provide them with appropriate training that fully prepares them for their job and makes them want to stay with the organization for the long run.
We can help you build your workforce of the future. Contact TDS when you are ready for a new approach to training younger workers.
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