Knowledge Transfer, Succession Planning & Talent Development

Despite a stubbornly persistent unemployment rate in the U.S., attracting and retaining people who can positively impact your company remains a considerable challenge to building and maintaining a premier organization.

How do we take the knowledge accrued by experienced employees and transfer it to those succeeding them? How do you bridge the knowledge gap that exists between those with extensive experience and those with clear potential but less tenure? How do you retain the knowledge that younger talent invests into an organization when they decide to take the next step in their careers?

There are important steps companies can take to enhance and retain crucial, experiential information:

• Inventory your talent, especially your most crucial positions
• Plan ahead for retirements, maternity leaves, employees returning to school
• Know where your talent lies by creating an inventory of top people
• Conduct “exit interviews” before an employee leaves by regularly taking the pulse of your people
• Keep in touch and engage retired employees
• Establish and track HE metrics tied to your organization’s goals and objectives

How do you fill this knowledge hole? There are a number of successful strategies that I’ve seen companies employ:

• Mentoring and reverse mentoring to gain value at both ends of the generational spectrum
• Team projects to train and advise diverse groups within your organization
• Job Rotations that increase retention and build institutional value

I also recommend that organizations employ succession planning to help you determine future HR needs. Regardless of whether people stay 5 or 35 years, the knowledge that they gain during their tenure is valuable and it’s important that you take the necessary steps to retain it.

The final way to offset talent loss is through internal talent growth. Combined with knowledge transfer and succession planning, talent growth is the third leg of the premier organization stool and is vitally important for organizations of all sizes.

Are you building a premier organization? Do you employ an integrated approach as described above or have your found other methods to achieve your objectives?