Will your company continue to thrive when Baby Boomers retire and take their knowledge with them?
Here are four steps for preventing a brain drain where you work:
Identify your vulnerabilities. "Many companies don't know where they are most vulnerable to knowledge loss," says David DeLong, author of Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce. One way to get around this is by doing an age profile of your workforce by work unit or by function. Determine the average age of employees in each unit and identify who's likely to retire or leave the company for other reasons.
Identify types of knowledge at risk. Use interviewing and social network analysis software to find out what knowledge is most valuable. This will help you decide where to focus your knowledge-retention efforts.
Choose your tactics. If you're focusing on transferring "tacit" knowledge, or experience that is hard to catalog, establish mentoring programs or communities of practice that bring older and younger workers together for extended periods. If you need to document information quickly before key employees retire, start developing databases and other repositories.
Source: CIO magazine, January 15, 2006
Most Baby Boomers believe that they will still be working after retirement. Eight in ten say they plan to work at least part-time--and others envision starting their own business or working full-time at a new job or career--according to an AARP Segmentation Analysis: Baby Boomers Envision Their Retirement.
This 'phased retirement' of Baby Boomers will shape the American workplace and compensate for a severe talent gap due to a shrinking supply of new workforce entrants. Phased retirement will allow Baby Boomers to devote more free time to community service/volunteer activities and their grandparent role by living near at least one of their children.