While hardly a day goes by without recruiters bemoaning the worker shortage due to baby boomer retirements, a new study points to an alarming lack of focus on the associated threat of losing those workers’ organizational knowledge.
If your company is one of the 77% that lacks a formal strategy to manage and retain worker knowledge, read on.
In a new report, entitled “Building and Securing an Organizational Brain Trust in an Age of Brain Drain,” it appears to be a classic case of what you can’t measure, you can’t manage. Only 23% of firms report having a formal method to actually identify the knowledge that needs to be protected and retained.
It’s also revealed that 12% of human resource managers report knowledge retention as a high priority within their organizations, despite the fact that one-third estimate 20% or more of their current workforce will be eligible for retirement over the next several years.
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The report also shows that 43% of respondents cite the ability to measure the ROI and effectiveness of a knowledge retention program as a chief stumbling block to implementing a formal strategy.
While no single tool has emerged that readily enables companies to tackle knowledge-retention challenges, the study suggests a handful of steps that organizations can try.
These include appointing a Chief Knowledge Officer to be responsible for organizational knowledge; implementing a formal program to actively identify key knowledge assets and its sources; providing knowledge-sharing incentives for employees and incorporating standards in performance reviews; and creating a blogging forum and mentoring program.