Archive for October, 2010
Last month we surveyed our SageCentre community (an online ageing workforce resource) about their three top concerns regarding the impact of an ageing workforce.
• 75% nominated knowledge loss
• 48% nominated skills gap
• 28% nominated lack of expertise in mission critical roles
When asked about the most successful age management solutions they had experienced, only 25% nominated a knowledge transfer solution.
My hunch is that so little is done because we are overwhelmed by the task. Here are three questions to help you focus your knowledge continuity efforts.
1 What do we need to know?
Think about what knowledge and skills are core to your business – now and in the future. Start with your critical areas and work outwards.
2 Who knows what we need to know?
There are people in your organisation who know a lot. We call them Sages. You can call them anything you like as long as it’s respectful! They are your living, walking, breathing database of corporate knowledge. Do you know who they are? Make sure you know who they are and keep them close! Do what you can to influence their late career decisions and explore how they might continue a relationship with your organisation beyond traditional retirement.
3 Who needs to know what they know?
Whether it be through the more formal processes of talent management and succession planning or the natural result of working together, you will identify people who need to ‘sit at the feet’ of your sages. Create opportunities for them to have conversations and begin transitioning knowledge.
Knowledge is slippery. There is no sure fire way to keep it, capture it or ensure access to it. What we do know from our knowledge continuity programs is that solutions emerge once you start the conversation.
From awareness to action and now to the advancement of age management. This was the theme of the 2010 ageing workforce conference convened yesterday by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Office for Ageing and IPAA NSW, with SageCo’s Alison Monroe as conference Chair for the day.
Having bounced back from a brief spell of retirement himself, Brendan O’Reilly DPC’s Director General was the perfect sage to provide an opening address to the 110 delegates present, including representatives from NSW Public Sector agencies, Local Government, and Industry.
Brendan opened the inaugural ageing workforce conference held in 2006 and by his own admission “did not expect to be here 4 years later!” but gave his support and advocacy to the mission stating;
This conference provides an opportunity to share knowledge, discuss the challenges and create strategies to tackle workforce ageing
Delegates heard from a range of speakers on policy development, program implementation and best practise case studies from the transport and health sector.
A few key themes arising from the day;
- know your data and create the story around it. present a sound business case for action
- executive support and advocacy is critical in positioning ageing workforce as a priority
- measure project outcomes and present back to the business
- continuity and consistency is key. this is not a ‘tick a box’ challenge.
One aim of the conference is to ignite the age management journey for those contemplating the enormity of the task. We look forward to seeing delegates from yesterday up on the speakers podium in years to come sharing their stories and successes.
It’s not all doom n’ gloom. I have confidence that businesses will naturally adapt to changing demography and become increasingly flexible in the hours and options they offer to mature workers.
So said the Hon.Peter Primrose, NSW Minister for Ageing at yesterday’s launch of the MACA roundtable discussion paper, Employment and Retention Strategies of Older Workers.
SageCo facilitated the roundtable forum on behalf of MACA late last year, bringing together organisations including Westpac, IBM, RTA NSW, The Salvation Army, Allianz and KPMG to discuss and debate all things ageing workforce and share success stories.
This report is about ensuring a productive, skilled and adaptable workforce which forms the whole of Government Strategy ~ Towards 2030. The fantastic practice highlighted by employers in this report needs to amplified.
Good news too from the Minister for SageCo’s Local Government clients with the NSW State Government SageCentre being extended for access by all Councils from November.
This should hopefully build on the success experienced by last year’s Diversity@Work Award winners, Port Stephens Council, who forged powerful connections with the local mature age community and effectively solved their skills shortage as a result! This case study and many more can be found in the SageCentre.
Not all doom and gloom by any means.