Few Employers Capture Boomer Know-How

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<p><strong>Boston &mdash; Nov. 8</strong><br />Only one-quarter of large organizations are making any effort to transfer knowledge from retiring baby boomers to other employees, according to a survey of 2,046 human resource executives by Novations Group, a global consulting and training firm. Just 4 percent have created a formal process to pass on know-how, while 23 percent report doing so informally.<br /><br />Has your organization created a way of transferring knowledge from retiring baby boomers to other employees?<br /><br />&bull;    Yes, a formal process. (4 percent)<br /><br />&bull;    Yes, an informal process. (23 percent)<br /><br />&bull;    No, but we plan to. (29 percent)<br /><br />&bull;    No, and we have no plans to. (44 percent)<br /><br />&ldquo;Despite wide concern about loss of institutional know-how and industry expertise as boomers retire, employers have been slow off the mark in seeking a solution,&rdquo; said Novations executive consultant Tim Vigue. &ldquo;The clock is ticking, and it&rsquo;s surprising so little is being done.&rdquo;<br /><br />Vigue conceded that some boomers might not plan to retire any time soon. &ldquo;Organizations can&rsquo;t assume one way or the other and have to probe boomer attitudes and plans. In certain cases, boomers may be persuaded to continue working part time or on a contract basis.&rdquo;<br /><br />Nevertheless, every organization needs to assess its risk, Vigue advised. &ldquo;They have to examine the organization&rsquo;s demographics department by department, conduct an inventory of critical key skills and knowledge, and find the prospective gaps. Overall, the outlook may be okay, but one or two areas may be facing trouble.&rdquo;<br /><br />Many organizations will need to set up a formal knowledge transfer system, predicted Vigue. &ldquo;The system may be technology-based or be just ample documentation. In addition, pairings of boomers with younger managers for this specific purpose will become common.&rdquo; <br /><br />According to Vigue, organizations have seldom faced this kind of dilemma. &ldquo;The boomer cohort represents about one-fifth of the workforce and most of senior corporate leadership. These people may be gone within five years.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Novations Group Internet survey of 2,046 senior human resources and training & development executives was conducted by Equation Research. </p>

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