The risk posed by an ageing workforce is a huge issue for many industries. As experienced staff retire, so critical knowledge will leave with them, which can leave the company highly exposed unless that knowledge can be transferred to more junior, less experienced staff. A Knowledge Retention and Transfer (KRT) Strategy is an approach to reducing this risk.
A KRT Strategy is a strategic approach to the risk of the loss of critical knowledge, and highlights priority areas and topics for retention activity. In a small company, a retention strategy can focus on the individuals themselves, while in a larger organisation it may make sense to prioritise the knowledge topics. The strategy then looks at the necessary interventions to address the risk.
The KRT Strategy is developed through conversations with senior managers, middle managers and HR, and through the scanning and mapping the priority topics. Strategic responses to these issues are then determined, which may include some or all of the following;
The KRT Strategy will be under pinned and supported by the development of Knowledge capture and documentation skills within the organisation. Implementing a retention program requires an investment in training, and requires dedicating time to the retention process itself.
Where knowledge loss represents a significant risk to an organisation, then a KRT Strategy and program represents the management of change necessary to reduce that risk to an acceptable level.