Talent Management inthe Era of the AgingWorkforce: The Critical Role of KnowledgeTransfer
By Thomas J. Calo, EdD, IPMA-CP
Organizations have been confronting many of the demographic changes occurring in the workforce, such as increasing raciai and ethnic diversity aiong with greater numbers of women woricers. The workforce is aiso rapidiy aging, though his demographic shift is oniy beginning to be addressed by many organizations as a strategic and competitive chaiienge. As the baby boom generation transitions into retirement, organizations must pian for the repiacement of this iarge and knowiedgeabie cohort of workers. This articie addresses the particuiar risks and chaiienges that organizations face in ensuring the transfer of the vaiuabie knowiedge that oider workers possess before they retire.
magine you are an HR executive and there are two possible scenarios you might experience. In the first scenario, you are fully aware of and concerned about the aging of your organization's workforce. You are especially concerned about the retirements of knowledgeable and experienced baby boomers and that steps have not yet been taken to transfer those potential retirees' valuable knowledge to others in the organization. You bring this concern to the attention of senior managers, but you feel like the little pig crying wolf when you are accused of unnecessary alarmism and failing to have your priorities straight. Or, equally troubling, you remain silent because you happen to work for an organization where negative news is unwelcome, and you fear the inevitable fate of the messenger who brings bad news. Either way, the organ¬ization fails to address its aging workforce challenge in a timely manner.
In the second scenario, you are not sufficiently informed about the aging of your organization's workforce and the risks from a large number of retirements. Or, equally troubling, you have such an awareness, but you do not think the aging workforce is an immediate or...