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Retired baby boomers or the challenge of imparting knowledge

Baby boomers are reaching retirement age. This aging of the population has not without consequences for the organization of businesses. The latter are therefore faced with many problems. First, they have to cope with the high turnover caused by this phenomenon. Most importantly, they need to ensure that the baby boomers' knowledge is well communicated within the structure. A central challenge to ensure the company's operational continuity.

Age pyramid and knowledge transfer

If we look at France's age pyramid, the situation is clear: we have been in an unprecedented phase since 2012. According to France Stratégie, more than 850,000 baby boomers reach their 60s every year. And among them, more than 620,000 are retiring…. However, many companies are not prepared for this high employee turnover.

In fact, baby boomers belong to a generation where people often spent their entire careers in a single company. During these years spent in the same structure, Baby boomers have acquired a lot of knowledge that is essential for the smooth running of their business. And that on all levels:

  • Structural;
  • Operational;
  • And culturally.

Companies cannot afford to lose this knowledge. On the contrary, they have to let it grow.

Knowledge management for the documentation of knowledge

For the company, the challenge posed by the aging of the population is essentially structural. This includes the organization of an optimized transfer of knowledge between future retirees and the employees who they replace. To do this, the company must set up and expand an effective and relevant knowledge management system. The latter is implemented through the introduction of internal procedures based on four main areas:

  • Determination of the level of knowledge of each employee (explicit and tacit knowledge);
  • Prioritization of this knowledge (degree of importance);
  • Implementation of operational procedures for the documentation of knowledge;
  • Centralizing knowledge to facilitate its transmission.

To ensure that staff turnover does not affect the organization and efficiency of the company, the structure must also be part of a continuous improvement approach. In fact, knowledge is not fixed. It is constantly evolving, depending on the experience and situation of each employee. It will therefore be necessary for every member of the company to be able to easily share their experience with the rest of the structure at any time.

Give baby boomers the tools to share their knowledge.

The digital world has made it possible for the quality management system (QMS) to better control the transfer of knowledge within the company. New tools have emerged that are easy to use and interconnected. They were quickly adopted by users. By multiplying the media, they have also become nomadic “tools” that you can take with you (tablets, smartphones, etc.). Well integrated into the QMS, they give everyone access and contribute to the company's knowledge: operating procedures, processes and procedures are centralized and any suggestions for changes or improvements are identified.

Given the challenge of an aging population, these tools are an undeniable asset for the company. They enable her to ensure that knowledge is passed on within her. The massive retirement of baby boomers is challenging for businesses. You need to ensure that the knowledge that these employees have acquired over the years is identified, retained, and shared within them. To achieve this, they must rely on a structured and structured knowledge management policy that makes knowledge transfer an integral part of their competitiveness.