Skills Walking Out the Door of Your Organization

Baby Boomers are retiring at an astonishing rate- 10,000 per day. As more and more Baby Boomers retire, many will experience gaps in their organizations. Some organizations will choose not to rehire the positions vacated. Even if head count remains the same, seasoned employees have experiences that are not easily taught or transferred to others leaving an opening in companies that could have financial and organizational implications.

Here are some of the challenges companies will face in the next few years as Baby Boomers blow out the candles on their retirement cakes:

Legacy Knowledge

The veterans of your organization have years of work experience and have built a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge in the brains. Even with a comprehensive knowledge transfer process, there will certainly be information that is lost. The knowledge these workers have is implicit and can’t be codified into training documentation and white papers. Without this knowledge, it can be harder and take longer to find a solution for problems that arise. This means that troubleshooting and solving issues will likely cost organizations more money.

Baby Boomers have the valuable knowledge of what came BEFORE current technologies. Their knowledge of legacy systems can be invaluable when taking on new initiatives. The art of planning and organizing new projects can only be mastered with experience.

Relationships

Relationships are built on trust, and it’s easier for business owners to trust experts who have earned trust through years of experience. Baby Boomers have been working with business leaders developing solutions to tough problems for a long time. These workers understand the business needs and have gained the confidence of their customers. When they retire, they’ll take some of your IT’s reputation with them out the door.

Perspective

A multi-generational workforce is an asset when it comes to brainstorming and discussions. When Baby Boomers retire, they’ll take with them the perspective of a generation that has seen enormous change. Groups of diverse employees bring levels of creativity and insight to solving problems. Team composition will change as Baby Boomers retire from the workforce.

Organizations should employ multiple strategies to combat the gap from Baby Boomers retiring.  Mentoring younger employees to develop some of the skills will help lessen the pains. Growing the knowledge lost will take time and many organizations will need the assistance of outside firms to fill the gaps left behind.  With careful planning, organizations will be able to lessen the financial and organizational impact of such a large portion of the workforce exiting.