Saturday, July 3, 2010

Knowledge Transfer in AEC firms - a practical solution?

As turnover is increasing due to the current economy within the AEC firms, what is happening to knowledge transfer?

Effects of today's economy:

Highly paid senior people are replaced by young, inexperienced people (mostly contract employees) - do you not agree?
Morale goes down, inspiration lacks and learning stops - do you not agree?

Practical Solution - just a thought:

I read in an article a couple of years ago on how a Texas corporation identified the need for transferring knowledge between generations and this solution is based on this corporation's idea. Here you go!

Step 1: In your organization, request all you senior executives (ex. office leaders) to conduct a peer review on what best practice or knowledge that a particular seasoned employee possesses and rate that knowledge's importance to company's mission on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being very important.

Step 2: Conduct a survey among the seasoned colleagues, asking them to rate their retirement year on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being they plan to retire very soon.

Step 3: Now multiply both the ratings and on a scale of 1 to 25, the knowledge possessed by a seasoned employee of score above 20 is very critical knowledge that the company cannot afford to lose. Losing the knowledge could be either because of retirement or unavoidable cut downs.

Step 4: Find a like minded younger employee and verify with him/her of his/her future goals and pair him/her up with this seasoned professional as a mentor-protégé relationship.

Step 5: To sustain this knowledge within the company, such paired-up teams could be assigned to develop tools or techniques to capture this knowledge and share it with the rest of the company!

Knowledge transfer happens, morale increase because employees feel that they are valued, ability to develop bench strength during the tough times like this increases and will prove beneficial when high times start in the near future!

This is just a thought, what do you folks think?

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