Many senior employees are leaving the organization with an average of 30 years of experience due to changes in organization structures or retirement. This will result in to a loss of hundreds of years of knowledge, experience and know-how that will just walk out of door.
Company should take the lead and evolve proactive plan for assuring knowledge retention and transfer from the senior staff to the junior ones prior to any decision for Organization changes or retirements.
Therefore, a dynamic Knowledge Management Base is required for identifying critical knowledge that will affect the Company's Strategic Directions and core business continuity. Next, to generate pool of Subject Matter Experts (SME) who will own the mission and support knowledge availability and flow across the Organization.
A challenge is facing Oil Industry with the retirement of senior staff and probably inefficient knowledge transfer to the junior employees, especially in the technical disciplines. If a decision made for retiring 30 leaders/experts with 30 year plus of experience that's means a total of 900 years of knowledge loss!
Each company has different approach, considering the organization culture, to retain the know-how as well as managerial/leadership skills to support its business continuity and smooth transition at the organization changes situations.
Lessons are being learnt with time for identifying the best practices to be adopted concerning the means and mechanisms for knowledge retention and management. This to move the organization in to a sharing entity and ultimately collaborative world.
A study was conducted on some Global Organizations to review their Knowledge Retention programs and if a strategy is in place. In the selected sample, 80% of them are addressing it as part of their knowledge Retention Strategy, which is to engage in the Knowledge Transfer program well ahead of time (3 to 5 Years before retirement). Only 20% of them have some programs to connect with the retired staff.
Trend is, catch them before they leave!
Training, Mentoring, Coaching, Interviewing, Course Design, Employee Orientation are ways through which knowledge is retained/transferred.