Knowledge Management Among the Older Workforce Essay
Knowledge Management Among the Older Workforce
There are several ways in which Human Resource Managers and employers can address the needs of senior workers and keep them motivated, while they ensure effective knowledge retention and transfer from these employees. Employers are just now realizing the value that a senior employee can bring to their business, this is a good time to find new ways in which the knowledge is retained for their company’s sake.
After an employee has achieved a certain age, based on the article “Knowledge Management Among the Older Workforce,” by Floor Slagter, senior employees need to feel secure in their jobs. Employers would have to ensure a culture of trust with the senior employees, to get them to feel comfortable enough to divulge the information that they possess, with their junior associates. Employers would need to forget the negative stigma that is attached to the older workforce and focus on the positive.
Employers should forget about the beliefs that managers harbor, that the older staff are hard to deal with, inflexible, unwilling to change, hard to teach and other negative comments. They should instead be focusing on the positives, such as the fact that the senior employees are more reliable, understand what it means to be gainfully employed, cause less fuss at the workplace and are willing to retain their jobs. This means that they can be taught a new system or process, if it means that they will add some value to the job.
Based on Maslow’s theory of motivation, if the needs of the senior employees are fulfilled, they will move to another level in their jobs. Employers can, therefore provide a setting in which the senior employee is comfortable, adequately compensated and be involved in certain aspects of discussions and decision-making processes that pertain to them. They can offer them flexi-time, or time off, discuss their options of furthering their studies and suggest self-development courses that would benefit them. Employers could keep the senior workers motivated by involving them in the everyday running of the business and drawing on them for suggestions on how to make a process better, or run smoother.
With this involvement, comes a level of trust that would ensure that they feel involved and will be willing to share the knowledge that they have garnered throughout the years. If the employee feels like they are being singled out for a retirement package, they will refuse to share their knowledge freely. The employers could devise situations in which they group the senior employees with junior employees and make them the leaders, in doing so, they will have to impart knowledge to get their team on top. As the saying goes, “Knowledge is Power,” this is true, especially if the senior employee feels threatened and decides to leave the company with their knowledge. Employers could also implement an ongoing system, in which they allow each staff member, whether young or old, write out their own job description, with the processes for each task.
In implementing such a task, they would ensure that there would be no need to pressure the senior employees into divulging their knowledge and becoming suspicious, but would successfully retain whatever knowledge the company requires on an ongoing basis for the staff who are left at the company and new staff. The processes could be adjusted to match the new technology that is implemented over the years.