Manufacturing companies require a succession strategy. Not for the sake of individuals, but for the sake of knowledge management. The industry is seeing a retirement wave unlike any other. Thousands of experienced professionals are retiring every day, a phenomenon known as the “Silver Tsunami.” This extraordinary loss of talent is robbing the industry of its capacity to train and retain new employees.
To mitigate the impacts of an aging workforce, manufacturers must take proactive measures. Companies must use contemporary knowledge management and training practices to avoid the loss of important information and to properly transfer expertise to new staff.
A Generation of Experts Is Dying
It’s no surprise that so much important information is kept hidden. The average manufacturer from the Baby Boomer generation possesses the following skills:
- For the past 39 years, worked in the sector.
- Only three times quit a job.
- They’ve spent 15 years with their present employer.
This generation of employees has a wealth of experience. Because of their extended careers, they have developed a degree of natural competence and skills that future generations will lose out on.
Compare that to the present labor pool’s tendencies. A Millennial’s average stay is 3.2 years. As a result, the new workforce will not have decades to shadow and learn from mentors. Skills and expertise that employers think employees would acquire over time will inevitably vanish.
As a result, there will be less specialists available to avoid errors and defects. There are fewer “gurus” available to address a situation quickly. A generation of specialists who have been taken for granted by the industry.
The Real Cost of “Brain Drain”
Businesses are failing to capitalize on their present workforce’s knowledge and skills. According to a recent poll, 57 percent of Baby Boomers have only shared half of the information required to accomplish their job after they leave. More surprising, 21% have not shared any of their expertise, thereby throwing over a quarter of a generation’s professional knowledge down the drain.
“Brain drain” is a term used to describe the loss of knowledge that occurs as a result of retirement. Brain drain, on the other hand, is considerably more serious than a witty rhyme. Manufacturing organizations are predicted to lose $3,000 (€2,648) per employee per year as a result of the knowledge gap generated by rising retirements.
The untapped potential of the aging workforce is obvious. Despite the fact that a third of the workforce is over 55, experienced individuals are departing organizations in droves. Once lost, this information will be hard to reclaim.
Getting Ready for the Future
The Silver Tsunami has come. This is not going to be a trend that will fade very soon!
While retirement rates in the industrial business were already on the rise, COVID-19’s effects have hastened the trend. Older professionals who planned to retire in the next 5-10 years are doing so sooner or switching careers. Businesses must become more nimble and resilient to change as a result of the worldwide epidemic.
Companies cannot rely on specialists to address all of their issues. Workers with important talents are busier and harder to come by than ever before, and they have little time to pass on their expertise. We don’t have time to lose. If the Silver Tsunami’s repercussions are not addressed, they will have long-term consequences.
Install a Knowledge Management System
Use current knowledge management techniques to collect expertise before the Silver Tsunami has irreparable consequences.
Given the likelihood that manufacturers will have fewer specialists and experienced workers in the future, gathering and disseminating the knowledge of your aging staff should be a major focus.
Industry 4.0 has ushered in a slew of new production technologies aimed at meeting the changing expectations of the workforce. Businesses may use knowledge management solutions to collect explicit process knowledge as well as the implicit know-how of their most experienced personnel.
Effective knowledge management entails keeping a current record of all information relevant to day-to-day activities. Because this is a never-ending task, pick a platform that is simple to maintain and upgrade.
Upskill Young Employees
Companies must develop knowledge within themselves due to a scarcity of trained and experienced staff. Traditional training methods will be ineffective in the face of the Silver Tsunami’s problems. Businesses should look for ways to cross-train and improve skills among their present workforce.
Employees will be more satisfied at work if you develop their skill from the inside, which will reduce turnover. Given the new workforce’s brief duration, it’s critical to create prospects for advancement inside your company.
Manage your Knowledge and Skills.
Give your employees instant, convenient, and up-to-date access to all the information your workforce needs.
Use mobile devices to document procedures of your retiring workforce’s expertise. With easy and searchable knowledge libraries, you can quickly access and disseminate critical information to your staff.
Azumuta is a solution to document and pass on skills, knowledge, and experience that can be utilized to jump-start new recruit training as well as assist more experienced staff in solving difficulties.