Knowledge Retention and Transfer by Manpower


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A solid Knowledge Retention and Transfer strategy ensures that your company retains its corporate knowledge – and competitive advantage - even as employees change positions or leave your employment.

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  • Hello and welcome. Thanks for joining me today. My focus for the next few minutes will be on Knowledge Transfer and Retention. But before we get started…
  • I want you to know the facts about Manpower – because the depth and breadth of our services are why we know what we know about the changing world of work. As you can see on this slide… (go over a few points) (in your comments, add local facts, if appropriate) … this is why we know what we know!
  • Through our subsidiaries – Manpower Professional, Jefferson Wells and Right Management – the Manpower Group of Companies offers end-to-end services for the entire employment lifecycle – from providing temporary employees to outsourcing to outplacement and consulting. Now let’s go ahead and get started…
  • We’re going to spend the next few minutes talking about knowledge retention and transfer. We’ll talk about why it is an important issue for all organizations, then we’ll discuss different ways of approaching the problem. My objective is to highlight the issue for you – so that you are aware that the price of turnover is much more than the cost of recruiting a replacement. And my goal is that I inspire you to develop a knowledge retention and transfer strategy for your organization. And if you are one of the few businesses that has an explicit knowledge retention and transfer strategy, I congratulate you – and I hope you still might learn one or two things that you can use to improve what you’re already doing. So what is the issue?
  • Manpower recently surveyed 2000 businesses throughout North America to ask them about their turnover expectations as well as how they currently handle knowledge transfer. According to our research, employers expect fewer than 5% of their workforce to turn over in 2010 – even as the economy improves. But are these employer expectations realistic?
  • According to research conducted by Right Management in 2009, 60% of the employees surveyed say they plan to jump ship when the opportunity presents itself – as the economy improves. In addition to the 60% who fully intend to leave, an additional 1 in 4 are networking and updating their resumes. And to make it worse, Harvard Business Review research suggests that a company’s stars are the first to be poached by competitors and are less likely to stay. This is an interesting discrepancy between what employers think and what employees say – who knows who is right, but my hunch is the employees are telling it like it is. And even if that statistic is too high, let’s cut it in half – what would happen in your organization if 30% of your key employees left? And, it’s not just an improving economy that causes people to leave…
  • Record numbers of us are approaching retirement age. You’ve seen the statistics – we all change jobs throughout our lifetimes and studies are telling us that the younger generations – the Gen X and Millennials – turn over even more. And while employers think their employees leave for better pay, the real reasons we leave are more likely related to the way we are treated by our boss and our company. But the cost of turnover is a lot more than the recruiting cost to find a new employee. Those leaving your organization take knowledge with them – knowledge about how to do their jobs, plus knowledge about the culture, the people, clients, vendors and knowledge about how to get things done. This institutional knowledge is a valuable resource and when it walks out of your doors, a serious gap can develop.
  • You can approach a knowledge retention and transfer strategy from many angles. Some companies carefully document job roles. Some identify employees who have been cross trained and can fill in when turnover happens. Others use succession planning strategies to identify critical positions and key performers who can be developed for leadership roles. All these are good ideas that should be implemented if you want to ensure a smooth transition when turnover occurs. But lets talk about a broader view of knowledge retention and transfer – a strategy that facilitates knowledge transfer throughout all phases of the employee life cycle.
  • Every phase of the employee life cycle – from the time he or she is recruited and on-boarded to long-term retention and eventually promotion or exit – presents an opportunity to share knowledge. Awareness of the importance of protecting that institutional knowledge has many advantages: New employees become productive more quickly Once productive, employees are sharing unique knowledge with others And they can use the knowledge-sharing skills they’ve developed upon promotion or exit from the company. Now let’s get a bit more specific and start with the first phase of the employee life cycle…
  • During the interview process and particularly as you’re making the job offer, help the candidate understand how important knowledge sharing is in your organization. It will be a job requirement to be open and transparent with what you know – that will be a key expectation and measure of your success here. Adopt technology tools for collaboration and sharing – your intranet site, a wiki, a sharepoint site, or something similar. From the very beginning, let the candidate know that you have tools to help with this knowledge sharing and they will be expected us use these tools from the very beginning. And finally, introduce the concept of a community of practice. Develop formalized forums where leaders come together to share best practices. Next let’s move on to onboarding…
  • In addition to reiterating the points covered on the previous slide, introduce the now hired employee to appropriate subject matter experts within the company – and encourage those relationships to flourish. Make sure the new employee knows how to use the technology to facilitate knowledge sharing and, finally, Place the new employee with a mentor or other experienced person who can give them the knowledge they need to succeed. By modeling the appropriate behavior with the new employee, he or she will be prepared to be the mentor when it is his or her turn to pass along the knowledge. What can you do during the retention phase…
  • This is a long list. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure your employees are engaged and prepared to stay with your company. And think about each of these practices in terms of knowledge sharing and transfer. For example: Career paths for all employees should be a given – we need to tell our employees what opportunities lie ahead for them. Part of that career pathing can include cross training. It isn’t a punishment to know someone else’s job and fill in if they leave. Rather it is a stepping stone to an exciting lateral move or to a promotion. Include knowledge sharing and transfer in your reward and recognition programs – explicitly reward employees who are transparent and free with their institutional knowledge. Ask your employees – during your satisfaction surveys – if they feel they are given the institutional knowledge to succeed. We know we tend to do what is measured so if you have metrics to support and reinforce knowledge sharing, more of it will take place. Finally, what happens when someone moves on whether it is because of a lateral move, a promotion or they leave the company…
  • The training of successors should happen before the two-weeks notice is given. Throughout your key employees’ careers, succession plans, cross training and formalized training should take place. But in addition to the formal training, general knowledge sharing about the culture, the people and the history of the company should take place, as well. When it comes to exit time, be explicit about identifying and prioritizing the key pieces of knowledge that must be transferred, then hold both the exiting employee and those being trained accountable to insure that transfer takes place. Exit interviews are a terrific way to learn more about what an employee knew or did during their tenure. And, finally, don’t lose touch with your alumni. Keep them engaged with your company as consultants and mentors. They don’t have to stop sharing knowledge or transferring knowledge when they leave.
  • A successful knowledge retention and transfer strategy spans the employee life cycle – from recruiting to onboarding to retention to exit. You have the opportunity – at every stage – to reinforce and reward those who actively share their expertise and institutional knowledge with their co-workers. If employees aren’t engaged, if they aren’t happy or invested in their company, they are less likely to freely share their knowledge. Develop an effective engagement strategy to keep your employees happy and to keep them open to sharing. From the top to the bottom of your organization, be transparent about information. Everyone, from the CEO on down, should be modeling knowledge-sharing behavior. And, finally, keep the key business objectives visible. We all need to know why we’re doing things, so if we can tie our actions to achieving business objectives, we’re more likely to do them.
  • Some employers are in for a shock – if you expect little or no turnover in the coming months as the economy improves, you may be surprised. The cost of turnover is a lot more than the money it takes to recruit a replacement. The job and institutional knowledge that walks out the door could cause problems in your organization and prevent you from meeting your business objectives. A proactive knowledge retention and transfer strategy will ensure that the investments made now in hiring and training are not lost over the long term. I hope I’ve achieved my objective of getting you thinking about knowledge retention and transfer as another way to insure long-term success and that you’ve come away with a few ideas you can implement in your organization. For more information and access to an interactive experience on the knowledge sharing subject, please go to
  • Knowledge Retention and Transfer by Manpower

    1. 1. Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010 enter exit [PRESENTERS NAME]
    2. 2. The Facts April 13, 2010 Knowledge Retention and Transfer 82 countries and territories 4,000 offices worldwide 3 million employees worldwide North American employees 350,000 400,000 worldwide clients 800+ offices in North America
    3. 3. What We Do April 13, 2010 Knowledge Retention and Transfer People permanent, temporary, staffing, professional Training online, in-person, classes, programs HR Services recruiting, prescreening, testing, interviewing Outsourcing recruitment process outsourcing, vendor managed solutions Consulting HR consulting, research and diagnostics, benchmarking, talent architecture, career transition, organizational consulting
    4. 4. the problem
    5. 5. 80% of employers expect fewer than 5% of their employees to leave voluntarily in 2010 Source: Manpower, 2010
    6. 6. 60% of current employees intend to pursue new job opportunities when the economy improves Source: Right Management, 2009
    7. 7. Consider <ul><li>The first wave of the 76 million baby boomers turns 65 in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Employees change jobs six to eight times over a lifetime 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Most employees leave for reasons other than money 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hope for the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A sense of worth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A feeling of competence </li></ul></ul>Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010 Sources: 1. “Job Security is Dead,” Sales & Marketing Magazine, 22 January 2007; 2. Leigh Branham, 2005.
    8. 8. the solution
    9. 9. Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010
    10. 10. Attract / Recruit <ul><li>Tell candidates about the emphasis on knowledge retention and transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce technology that supports knowledge sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce communities of practice </li></ul>Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010
    11. 11. Onboard <ul><li>Introduce subject matter experts </li></ul><ul><li>Train on job tools and technology </li></ul><ul><li>Develop mentor programs </li></ul>Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010
    12. 12. Retain <ul><li>Career pathing </li></ul><ul><li>Skills development and training </li></ul><ul><li>Reward and recognition programs </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Support of communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Employee satisfaction surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Regular performance evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>including peer-to-peer feedback </li></ul>Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010
    13. 13. Promote / Exit <ul><li>Formalized training of successors </li></ul><ul><li>Exit interviews </li></ul><ul><li>For retirees, ongoing role as consultant or mentor </li></ul>Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010
    14. 14. Drivers of Success <ul><li>Spans the employee life cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Supported by a culture of engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged through transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Tied to business objectives </li></ul>Knowledge Retention and Transfer April 13, 2010
    15. 15.