Is your company abandoning years of experience? Mind the Gap.
“Mind the Gap” is a warning, mostly used in London, for those using the subway or train to be wary of the gap between the train and the platform. Companies are facing a similar gap, the knowledge gap. If your organization has neglected to be mindful of the knowledge gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials, the result will be serious. According to a recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, more than 60% of employers have failed to make plans for the imminent loss every company will face once the Baby Boomer generation retires. There are certain skills and wisdom that are gained over time that even the most extensive training regimen can’t teach, but that can be addressed through strategies designed to mind the knowledge gap.
According to Pew Research Center, 10,000 Baby Boomers retire daily and they are taking their wealth of knowledge with them. It is crucial that veteran employees transfer the knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years to those looking to fill their position some day. A number of major companies are setting examples by taking steps to ensure the preservation of 20-30 years of professional experience.
New graduates who are hired into one of General Electric’s nine business units are placed into the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program. All program participants will complete eight-month rotations within areas of their particular business. The training is designed to help participants advance and further develop their knowledge in addition to enhancing their leadership abilities. In addition to GE; Abbott, Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Medtronic and Merck are among the top 70 companies with formal mentorship or sponsorship programs.
Some companies use phased retirement programs to encourage senior employees to train younger workers while at work. Other successful mentoring and training strategies include:
Onboarding is a great way to get newly hired managers started. This training process can last up to a couple weeks because newly hired employees interact with a variety of departments within the company. It then enhances a new manager’s appreciation for department responsibilities.
When a senior employee takes on the role of training an unseasoned hire, it’s considered on-the-job training or an apprenticeship. It is more of a skill-based training which is why it differs from a mentoring program. An apprenticeship teaches new skills through learning processes and procedures for technical positions and taps into expertise these veterans have learned from their 20+ years of experience.
A mentoring program pairs an accomplished seasoned worker with an aspiring professional to create a mentor-mentee relationship. The mentee will gain a deeper understanding of the company’s goals and values from an employee who has seen it develop over the years. Through this program, mentors will be able to pass on their professional legacy and become a role model for their mentee. This has proven to be one of the most effective techniques in minding the knowledge gap.
We encourage you to find one or more strategies to mind the knowledge gap. Companies that succeed in bridging the knowledge and experience gap illustrate a specific plan for doing so. The Conference Board, non-profit business membership and research group organization, found that knowledge does not simply “pass down” from seasoned vets to newer employees. Focus on the approaches that work best for your employees and your company and ensure long term success for both.
Other related blogs that may be of interest are: Baby (Boomer) Come Back and Today’s Shrinking, Aging Workforce.
About Talencio: We help the Health Technology community make progress by putting the right people in the right place to solve problems and identify opportunities to move healthcare forward. To learn more about career opportunities in health technology, or to hear how other companies have partnered with Talencio to tap into our skilled professional talent pool, contact us at 612.703.4236 or email. Talencio has been the preferred provider of vetted, accomplished professionals to the Health Technology Community for over 9 years.
Written by: Margaret Eggert, Marketing Communications Specialist, Talencio