Knowledge Transfer MUST Happen SOON!
One of the number one priorities for companies right now should be knowledge transfer.
The problem? The two groups who need it most are the least inclined to transfer it.
What is at stake for baby boomers?
If you read our section called YOUR CHILDHOOD MAKES AN IMPACT ON HOW YOU VIEW WORK, then you know the impact being a part of a massive generation had on the Baby Boomer generation. When multiple people are fighting for a few jobs, there is one sure-fire way to ensure that you will not be "disposed of" as quickly as your co-workers. You have to make sure that you know something other people DON'T.
In many ways Boomers were trained that the best way to secure your place in a company was to hold onto vital content and become a subject matter expert in a particular area. By ensuring you are the ONLY person who is the subject matter expert in your office on particular topics, you make it far more difficult to be "downsized" or "let go."
This led to a version of unintentional, and in many ways unwitting, information hoarding.
Also, let's not forget that Boomers were taught that age = wisdom = power. It is difficult for them to ask for help from people younger than them.
In companies across the United States the solution to knowledge transfer has been "LET'S START A MENTORING PROGRAM" (a great idea in theory). The problem with that is that many Boomers are not quite sure they are ready to retire. And while they are deciding, there is no way they want to hand over the information they have (i.e., power) to the new hires who can work at "double the speed at half the price."
what is at stake for the millennials?
Our research shows that Millennials are desperate for a mentoring relationship! There's a couple of things that Millennials have experienced that GenXers and Boomers did not. This has led to this hunger that many don't consider.
The first is that it is common in college classrooms across the country for Professors to make statements such as "you don't really need to know how to do this yet because when you get to your company they will tell you exactly how they want it to get done." The result? They have a head full of theory, but don't have a lot of hard skills commonly associated with their degree.
Additionally, Millenials are accustomed to being able to ask technology ("google it") anything at almost any time, in many ways this has "saved face" for them by allowing them to never have to reveal that they don't know everything. Not only do they have Siri they can ask now, they have Alexa and Google Assistant that can help them at a moment's notice. So what do you do when you have a question that you CAN'T "google"? You have to admit to someone--someone that is paying you to do a job most likely--that you do not know what you're doing. Often they are not inclined to do this.
Finally Millennials have lived in a world of INSTANT! In minutes they can call a car to their exact location to take them wherever they need to go. Their college tests were graded instantly by the computer the moment they hit submit. They don't even have to wait in line at a restaurant anymore thanks to apps like NoWait and Open Table. They understand that they can accumulate KNOWLEDGE very quickly...a Wikipedia article, 2 Ted Talks, and a podcast and they're good to go. However, what many have not been trained on are the soft skills that combine with knowledge to form WISDOM. While companies definitely want smart employees, they want tolerable humans even more. Unfortunately, wisdom and developing soft skills are SLOW processes, which is frustrating to a generation that can have popcorn in less than three minutes.
What they BRING however is their amazing computer and technology "hacks." What might take your "star Boomer employee" a day to complete will likely take your Millennial less than an hour. Face it, these folks were doing PowerPoints in 1st grade and can CTRL-ALT-DELETE their way through anything. The issue: They're not anywhere as good at explaining to someone how to work the technology as they are at doing it. This presents a huge problem for the Boomer who has no choice but to get on board with the new database system. Usually these conversations end up with BOTH groups frustrated!
genWHY is DEveloping a solution!
Currently genWHY Communication Strategies is in the design phase of a product that we believe will dramatically assist in allowing Boomers to secure their legacy and knowledge without feeling like the moment they do they will be "let go." Additionally it will use technology, which Millennials are ACCUSTOMED to searching first for answers, to allow them to continue to get quality information, but in a way that allows them to continue saving face. We can't say more you'll totally steal this brilliant idea, but keep checking back with us about it soon! Until then I would suggest bringing us in for a presentation!!