All entries for Saturday 02 June 2012

June 02, 2012

Knowledge Retention

Retaining knowledge is one of the main organisational challenges nowadays. On the one hand, talent acquisition and the “war for talent” due to the tough competition between companies to attract and retain talented and knowledgeable employees. On the other hand, the fact that a lot of the working population "baby boomers" is coming up to retirement age, and therefore they need replacements and transferring the knowledge and experience of those retirees to the new employees and the rest of the organisation. Respectively, this might result in disclosing information to other competitors in the same industry, or this loss of knowledge might take several years to replace and recover.

I have experienced that during my work in the cement industry, where we had to identify areas of knowledge and expertise where the company had to retain, and recorded that in manuals and policies, and standardise it for the whole company. What skills and expertise (functional/departmental) are crucial for the success of the company? Are they Related to systems or processes within the company? Or other sort of skills and areas of knowledge? This has to be identified and discussed with all the management staff at all levels in the company.

The HR department plays a big role in the setting up and the implementation of those retention strategies. The cycle of human resource management (R-D-R Cycle) starts with recruiting, and moves on to learning and development and accelerating the learning curve of any new staff, as well as identifying new learning and development interventions, and ends up with retaining those staff and reduce the loss of knowledge to the minimum. This cycle gives an idea of how knowledge is created, distributed, and retained within any organisation.

HRM Cycle

Therefore in order to sustain, the company needs to find ways and identify strategies in creating, distributing, retaining, and transferring that knowledge to other staff.


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