Your Voice: The importance of knowledge transfer
Knowledge Transfer Program will help ensure a smooth transition of knowledge and experience to a new generation.
Knowledge transfer is essential to ensure experienced workers can transfer their ideas, skills, and expertise to the younger generation. Lack of a knowledge transfer processes is a huge challenge in the public and private sector alike.
Nowadays, knowledge transfer is critical to an organization’s success. Aramco, like many leading companies around the world, consists of employees in various disciplines with specialized talents and skills. It recently established the Knowledge Transfer Program (KTP) to ensure a smooth transition of knowledge and experience to a new generation.
Because many employees these days retire early, a huge gap is often created in bridging such knowledge, thereby highlighting the importance of the knowledge transfer process. The process greatly benefits employees and their immediate supervisors. Each company should implement a KTP and include it in its evaluation criteria for employees, and management should measure the quality of the KTP and establish criteria.
Here are a few areas to consider for your program:
1. What does “knowledge transfer” mean in your organization? Do you need a common language for discussing the problem? Everyone must be on the same page.
2. Make sure your subject matter experts are being asked to transfer their knowledge. It would help them to know where to focus their efforts.
3. Do you need to focus on your efforts? If so, can you easily spot where your workforce has gaps or red flags, such as retiring workers with unique knowledge or the need for rapid onboarding? Can you take a general approach, or do you only have enough resources to focus on the most critical areas?
4. Do you want to be able to pinpoint and track knowledge transfer between individuals, or is it OK to provide tools for anyone to use with minimal direction?
To encourage specialists, management should certify them in their job skills area. I believe employees would be grateful to receive appreciation for his or her efforts in this program.
Aramco also has the Industrial Knowledge Transfer Unit, which directly communicates and encourages supervisors to increase the communication level with their KTP specialists to prevent any lack of support.
In addition to these key steps, it is highly recommended that a community of practice for the KTP be created in which specialists could share their observations and experiences, providing even more value to the program. It would also be appreciated if specialists were offered refresher courses, meetings or an annual forum to discuss the status and challenges they face in their individual fields.
For more information, one can visit the employee Training and Development website to review the KTP.
(Editor’s Note: Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.)