When Baby Boomers Retire, Does Your Company Transfer Their Knowledge?

Knowledge transfer. It's how stories have been passed down from one generation to the next, providing wisdom, insight and experience to the next generation. Entire languages have been passed on to descendants; the ability to make tools; to farm; to do math. But does the transferring of knowledge occur in your company, and to an effective degree?

When an employee is fired or laid off, their job knowledge, processes and insight into the functions he or she serve are often lost. When an employee quits or retires, however, there is usually time for his or her replacement to soak in what the person knows to some degree or another. However, according to a recent i4cp survey, only 29% of companies incorporate retirement forecasts into their knowledge transfer practices. Only a few percent more add "skill gap analysis" into such forecasts.

In addition, most organizations disagree about who should formally handle knowledge transfer initiatives. Is it the individual business sector that is being directly affected by the loss of an employee? Forty-one percent say so. The corporation as a whole (presumably HR)? Thirty-nine percent.

Read more results from i4cp's recent knowledge transfer survey.
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.