KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN TODAY’S MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKPLACE: What it takes to do it best

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The Art and Practice of Knowledge Transfer,Four Generations of Learning Styles,The Process,Methods of Transferring Knowledge,Barriers to Knowledge Transfer,Incentives to Knowledge Transfer and Benefits of Knowledge Transfer

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KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN TODAY’S MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKPLACE: What it takes to do it best

  1. 1. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN TODAY’SMULTIGENERATIONAL WORKPLACE: What it takes to do it best HR Learning Session by O. M. Babatunde-Lawal
  2. 2. AN OVERVIEW Introduction Knowledge Transfer: Definitions The Art and Practice of Knowledge Transfer Four Generations of Learning Styles The Process Methods of Transferring Knowledge Barriers to Knowledge Transfer Incentives to Knowledge Transfer Benefits of Knowledge Transfer Conclusion
  3. 3. IntroductionMost organizations hope that their retiring employees willact as stewards of the organization and the future.In effect, employers say “Give us sufficient warning so thatwe can line up a replacement and capture and also passalong what you know to those who will remain”
  4. 4. Knowledge Transfer: A DefinitionWhat is Knowledge?It is information or understanding gained through experience andeducation.What is Knowledge transfer?It is literally the transfer of knowledge from one brain to another.It is the act of conveying knowledge of one source to another, one group toanother or one unit to another.Knowledge transfer is not about transferring knowledge alone, it involvesthe willingness of the other party or recipient to absorb the knowledge tohis/her own benefits.
  5. 5. Like Knowledge Management, Knowledge transfer seeks toorganize, create, capture or distribute knowledge and ensureits availability for future users.It is considered to be more than just a communication problem.If it were merely that, then a memorandum, an e-mail or ameeting would accomplish the knowledge transfer.It is more of minimizing the act of hoarding information (i.e.facts and details known about something or somebody),encouraging sharing of knowledge and storing it.
  6. 6. The Art and Practice of Knowledge TransferIn our private lives, often we transfer knowledge so easilyand efficiently we don’t know we’re doing it. Example:asking directions.However, in organizations, effective and sustainableknowledge transfer is more complex because : knowledge resides in organizational members, tools, tasks and their subnetworks and much knowledge is tacit or hard to articulate
  7. 7. Knowledge Transfer Life Cycle Identify and value Validate andLearn and capture document Transfer and Publish and share apply
  8. 8. Four Generations of Learning StylesThere is a need to identify the dynamics of knowledge transfer, payingspecial attention to differences in learning styles between generations. Matures or Veterans Baby Boomers (born 1925 – 1945) (born 1946 – 1964 after World War II) Age Range 86 – 66years Age range 65 – 47years Reflects “cultural values”  Competitive Loyal  Believe in ability to change things Respect authority  Idealistic realize that loyalty is dead Command & control  Understand their organizationleadership  Enjoy leadership roles Sacrifice to get a job done  Good team players  Like recognition for theirThey are still a power force in some contributionorganizations.
  9. 9. How Boomers and Matures learn:Boomers and their predecessors were educated throughformal classroom instruction and texts and remaincomfortable with both.They are “digital immigrants” who did not grow up withcomputers. They like hard copy, and may actually read acompany manual from beginning to end. When learning,they generally prefer material be verbal and text-driven,formal, and deductive.
  10. 10. Gen Xers Gen Yers (born 1965 – 1982) (born 1983 – 1995) Age Range 46 – 29years Age range 28 – 16years Trust themselves not institution  Technically savvy Skeptical  Value diversity Independent  Have global perspective Seek work life balance  Lots of feedback & communication Dislike rule and red tape  Desire professional growth Dislike corporate politics  Do not stay in one job for long Like to find solution to problem  Want information quick and concise Prefers incidental learning  Love connectivity e.g. Social mediaA Caveat: When making generalizations about any group, caution iswarranted. One will still find many differences within the generations, inaddition to differences between them.
  11. 11. How Gen Xers (business casuals) Learn:This generations adapts easily to both formal and informal learning. Theirhighest priority is action learning in the workplace.They like to find real solutions to real problems.Having adopted technology in the adolescence, these employees aremore visual than verbal.How Gen Yers (digital natives) learn:This group, comprised of employees who were born into the computerworld, learns by inductive discovery and exploration.They want to do, not to be told. Jumping right in is their modus operandi,trial and error their preference.Connectivity is a hallmark of this generation. Gen Y loves to connect viaIMs, blogs, wikis, and podcasts. They love social media e.g. facebook,twitter etc.
  12. 12. Methods of Knowledge Transfer Formal education and training Mentorship Paired work Apprenticeship (expert and novice) Work shadowing Narrative Transfer (or story telling) Communities of practice (CoPs) Job rotation Knowledge elicitation interviews Guided experimentation Blogs Instant messaging (IM)
  13. 13. Four factors that influence knowledge TransferRelational ChannelRelational channel provide the human-to-human connection necessary tosupport the transfer of tacit knowledge.Partner similarityThis refers to the similarity that exists between knowledge giver andreceiver. People with similar backgrounds, levels and experiences.Organizational self knowledgeIndividual know what they know and also what other people know.Divergence of interestThe divergence of interest between sender and receiver can inhibitknowledge transfer.
  14. 14. Barriers to Knowledge Transfer Lack of Trust Motivational Issues Generational differences Organizational Culture non-conducive to knowledge sharing (Knowledge is power) Misconceptions Lack of interest Bad interpersonal relationship Lack of incentives Language Limitations of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) Lack of time Pride or low self esteem
  15. 15. Incentives to Knowledge TransferAccording to the literature on knowledge transfer and experience of theauthors, three key incentives come into play: Reciprocity Recognition AltruismWhat enables Knowledge Transfer?Variety of technologies including database collaboration of tools, contentmanagement, search engines and portals.
  16. 16. Benefits of Knowledge TransferThe potential benefits typically resulting from knowledge transferrange from tactical to strategic, and include: acceleration of development and on-boarding for new hires capturing of knowledge before it leaves step-change in productivity speed and agility transformation of organization’s bottom line (new profit) building of relationships and creation of conducive workplace and risk reduction saving of time and costs
  17. 17. ConclusionIs the sky falling because Boomer Knowledge and businesswisdom are leaving organizations at an unprecedented rate?Probably not. After all, people have been retiring from workforceever since people began working.But there is significant opportunity in strategic and targetedknowledge transfer.Technology has created a larger gap between outgoing andincoming workforces than employers have ever experienced,increasing the demand for knowledge transfer at theorganizational level.
  18. 18. Conclusion (contd:-)One of IITA’s workforce planning strategy should be to retain criticalknowledge in order to perform its core business processes seamlessly asits workforce transitions in and out of the organization.IITA should embrace knowledge transfer by: selecting knowledge transfer methods that suits its workplace ensuring that people with high team playing abilities are employed by conducting behavioral and emotional intelligence tests at interviews ensuring flexibility on hierarchical structure and respect for individual values encouraging a two-way communication model having a knowledge management database providing policy manuals on knowledge transfer rewarding and recognizing best behaviour
  19. 19. In today’s environment, hoarding knowledge ultimatelyerodes your power. If you know something veryimportant, the way to get power (i.e. access toopportunity & advancement) is by actually sharing it.Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinelyinterested in helping one another develop new capacitiesfor action; it is about creating a learning process.So, share! Share! and continue to acquire knowledge.I rest my case.
  20. 20. Questions???

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