Knowledge Management Strategies in the Workplace

Combining the Wisdom of Baby Boomers to that of the Tech Savvy New Hires

Companies often worry about revenue loss when their servers are down, but how many executives worry about the financial loss because of a lack of access to knowledge management systems?

In 2000, at the height of awareness, business executives spent $884.3 billion on software to implement information sharing databases. Few companies were aware of how to consolidate the data into a universal business model which has caused many of them to abandon their initiatives to preserve and pass on the valuable information from one workforce generation to the next.

In May of 2017, the International Data Corp. (IDC) released a white paper that found that company interest in knowledge management has decreased significantly over the last decade yet concludes that it is now an imperative business necessity because of the current state of digital development. The IDC also found that only 24% of companies use their collected data strategically which leaves the remaining 76% at a disadvantage to compete globally.

Some businesses have implemented strategies to retain or recruit older workers to absorb essential business practices, but others took the alternative route of the profit and loss indicators to retire employees to make room for the tech savvy recruits. The lack of insight in the value of information sharing policies further created disadvantages for employers because of the absence of knowledge transfer between outgoing and incoming employees. Companies have relied heavily on innovative technology, but they have overlooked the value of human intelligence and observation that provide companies with their greatest asset for knowledge sharing abilities. Employee Training and Development policies must include a collaboration between technology and human intelligence as a provisional measure to educate and cross train workers.

The Department of Labor expects aged workers to grow in the workforce from 21.7 % to 25% by 2024 that represents a challenge and a benefit to employers to enhance HR training and e-learning platforms that promote information sharing opportunities. Based on research by the EEOC, four generations of employees now exist within the workforce that provides distinct values and experiences in any one work environment.

  • Traditionalists born before 1945
  • Baby Boomers born between 1946–1964
  • Generation X born between 1965–1980
  • Generation Y or Millennials born between 1980–1994

The Traditionalists and Baby Boomers incorporate their wisdom, loyalty, leadership, and knowledge of company core competencies to make business decisions, but they normally lack university degrees that modern companies rely on for innovative solutions to growth and productivity. Gen X and Gen Y employees provide business theory observations influenced by academic and IT capabilities, but they lack the experience to translate their collected data into useful marketing strategies because of the lack of knowledge of long-term business goals. Although companies devise employee learning management systems, they may not communicate the necessity of information sharing activities as a dual benefit that allows all workers to improve skills that enhance business ventures.

One of the most productive strategies for enacting a learning and development program is to consider the benefit of a collaborative approach with a cross-generational learning platform where older workers transfer their experience and skills to younger workers. They, in turn, expose their counterparts to technology and modern approaches to business practices. Executives must communicate the advantages of information sharing activities by enlisting the aid of senior management to not only engage the older and younger employees to participate but also inter-departmentally as well. The attitudes on the exchange of information vary because of a competitive nature within the workplace, but corporate behaviors can reinforce cultural beliefs and practices significantly.

  • Employers may choose to promote teamwork, job shadowing, and information sharing sessions to develop on-the-job training programs.
  • E-learning platforms serve the purpose of being able to store the collected data internally, but training sessions allow management teams to put the data to use.
  • Employers may choose to maintain an employee website by writing articles that emphasize company growth and productivity that allow the diverse group of employees to engage in planning sessions where the knowledgeable, seasoned workers collaborate with the tech savvy visionaries.
  • E-learning videos also provide self-help learning opportunities, enhance employee on-boarding training, and transfer knowledge with educational and how-to videos.
  • Conferences or team meetings will allow senior management to demonstrate the successful outcomes of knowledge transfer from team building exercises.

Technology companies have studied the issues well and delivered new innovative knowledge sharing platforms that enable users to upload videos, access playlists, store favorite information, and quickly locate learning resources. Additionally, users can attend meetings and participate in learning courses virtually. Better yet, the data and videos are stored using cloud capabilities so that workers can adapt the saved data to current business needs.

CircleHD is a video learning and knowledge sharing platform for modern enterprises. Ask for a demo