Key challenges of Exchanging knowledge between workforce generations

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Hasan Faraz

Senior Compensation Analyst

Milaha Company


Key challenges of Exchanging knowledge between workforce generations

Every dynamic and growing organization will have a healthy rate of attrition and there will be new people on-boarding, getting promoted or transferred at any point in time on jobs that are new, transformed or have been vacated by other people moving on.  The time taken to transfer the knowledge, skills and information required to enable the new incumbent to adapt to the new conditions and become productive can be minimized if there are appropriate processes in place to assess the gaps and address them. Needless to mention, an unprepared or absent employee can cost the organization a lot more than the investment to prepare and motivate him or her to function at the requisite levels of performance for the job.

An Organization that seeks to maintain a long-term competitive advantage would have learning and development activities at the core of its management strategy.  Measures taken to facilitate the acquisition, transfer and/or exchange of knowledge and information between people and systems would go a long way in ensuring that organizational and other changes cause minimal or no disruptions to the quality of products and services.  And, at the same time encourage creative new ideas and innovation to materialize.  However, given thecomplexities of knowledge exchange and the political climate in most organizationsthatgenerallyleads to the need to put-up and maintain silos, the exchange channels may be constrained to the point of paralyzing the organization from any growth altogether.

Senior Management should set an example by aligning the workforce towards a shared vision of success that neutralizes any power struggle between individuals, departments and stake-holders.  This would pave the way for individuals to willingly be open to new learning and sharing be it from or to a junior employee or someone from another department.  This transfer or exchange should be:

  • formalized in the form of mentoring and coaching programs for critical jobs
  • documented to the extent possible in online interactive retrieval systems
  • incentivized such that rewards are linked to successful exchanges/learnings
  • carefully monitored over time for high-potential staff identified in succession plans

While the seekers of knowledge will surmount mountains of hierarchy to find gurus willingto share the nuggets of their tried and tested life-experiences and wisdom, a learning organization will seek to attract, retain and grow “gurus” in-house to keep scaling new peaks of success.

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