Looking toward the future of your company, are you focusing enough on the progression and sharing of knowledge? How will it move from your current staff to the one of your future? Thinking of current teams, is it a strong, robust group of people who’ll be around for many years? Or, do you see a large percentage of people with tremendous knowledge on the verge of retiring? Do you have a process in place to ensure knowledge transfer is not only a priority but a success?
Evaluating The Likelihood Of A Knowledge Void In Your Middle Market Company
Depending on your training and employee tenure, your Middle Market firm might be on the edge of a knowledge void. For instance, if you’ve lost employees to retirement or will likely soon, you could be in trouble without qualified replacements. You’ll need to address and take action to prevent their collective knowledge from walking out the door. Also, you need to take steps to help ensure the transition from your current employee base to your future.
Start by gauging how many staff members might retire in the next 1-3, 5 and 10 years. You’ll always have some turnover, but if your percentage of likely retirees is very high, you need to start addressing the void immediately. Next, calculate how much of the knowledge of your organization is being stored simply in employees’ brains vs. how much is documented and easily trainable. Lastly, think about how much of a robust training/knowledge transfer process you currently have in place.
Millennials Will Be Fantastic For Middle Market Firms, But They Can’t Replace One To One Without Help
If much of your current staff is made up of Baby Boomers and those generations that immediately followed, you probably are on the cusp of experiencing some mass retirement numbers. While Millennials are making up a hugely proportionate number in the workforce, it would be foolhardy to assume a body replacing a body is just fine and totally the same.
Yes, Millennials have the ability to be extremely tremendous for any Middle Market organization. However, someone who has worked for 40-60 years and been with you for many of them, isn’t easily replaced by someone fresh out of college. New to the workforce employees bring many strengths with them to be sure. But, they need education, help and strong knowledge transfer processes in place to help them grow and succeed.
Rather than feeling your Middle Market firm will suffer a knowledge chasm or thinking Millennials are less than those they are replacing, you need to embrace the new generations and put processes in place to help them get up to speed more quickly and efficiently. Use your more experienced employees to develop robust training and mentoring programs. Ask your younger employees where they see a lack or hole in your knowledge transfer processes. And get both groups on board for shoring up weak areas and working to build a better system.
Your Middle Market organization needs strong employees and leadership now and in the future. Make sure you know how likely you are to fall into a knowledge chasm and take steps today to prevent and remedy that likelihood.
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