By Navin Nageli, Founder & CEO
Experienced workers, leaders and managers will retire from transportation agencies in the next decade, and the generational landscape of today’s workforce will shift dramatically. Today, about 45% of the workforce are Baby Boomers and Gen X. These generations have decades of transportation experience and institutional knowledge, but most of that expertise will walk away with them unless we put mechanisms in place to capture that insight.
It’s vital to develop systems, processes, and procedures with your organization’s future in mind. Although the generational shift has advantages, such new and fresh perspectives, the knowledge lost is critical. The expertise these individuals have ensures the agency does not repeat past mistakes that will cost more time and money. Here are three steps to save institutional knowledge:
1. Develop succession planning within your organization. Identify and implement a strategic succession plan that allows older generations to pass their knowledge on. In other words, ensure that everyone in your organization has a replacement. This can be done through mentoring, manuals or other training. No matter how, it is essential to prevent your organization from moving backward or suffering from a productivity gap.
2. Invest in systems and processes. Make your employees dependent on systematic processes and procedures. Otherwise, your organization is 100% people dependent. If everyone does things differently, it creates internal confusion and nothing can be replicated. Creating systems, processes, and procedures helps retain institutional knowledge, maximize clarity, and ensure consistency.
3. Incorporate systems and processes into a cloud platform. Incorporate these processes and procedures into a cloud platform so it is transparent and highly visible. This ensures everyone is always looking at the same thing, rather than old versions of manuals and handbooks. In a cloud platform, niche knowledge can truly become company-wide instructions and protocols.
Losing these valuable employees to retirement could be incredibly damaging without proper procedure to preserve their industry knowledge. Without a plan, your agency will remain stagnant as it catches up with the lost expertise. It’s time to move toward the future!