Is your profit margin about to retire? Is your company mired in undocumented tribal knowledge?
According to a new study from Harvard University and the Rand Corporation, “On average, every 10% increase in the share of state’s population over the age of 60 reduced per capita growth in gross domestic product by 5.5%.”
My experience through the years echoes that sentiment. I’ve seen the old guys working their last day and muttering about how these new guys just don’t get it, or that they had tried to teach the newer workers but weren’t able to get the point across.
I remember when I was young and eager to impress, dragging out a stethoscope to listen to the tappets knocking as we adjusted valve gap. By the time I got back from my toolbox the old mechanic had the problem isolated to which cylinder and then proceeded to school me on the proper technique. Being the youngster I was, I half listened and smiled politely (or sneered surreptitiously) as he told me about the joys of a hammer handle and how it worked just like a stethoscope in transferring sound to the ear and by moving it around the head you could…And I taught the same trick to my children when the time came. And they listened with the same laissez-faire attitude. Now no one has tappets anymore and valve gap is a lost art for the most part but the example is the same.
Older workers are retiring and the knowledge is being lost. I encourage you to start today, find a scribe and get the knowledge on paper before it’s too late; video tape the more detailed and complex lessons; get someone with a real interest in learning to work with them before their gone.
Don’t let the tribal knowledge leave your organization. If you need help getting the documentation done give me a call, I can come in and work with your retiree to get the information recorded and preserved.
Call Ric @ (518) 225-0623 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org