Comments: 8

Are you suffering brain drain?

- Joanne Casey
The workforce is changing with baby boomers moving towards retirement and Generations X and Y making up the bulk of the workforce - a trend that will only increase in the coming years.  According to a global study by Deloitte, Generation Y will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.

To put it further into perspective, Generation Y (those workers born between 1980 and 2000) are no longer the 'young' workers - they are entering their 30s and moving into more senior roles, settling down with families and mortgages.  

Why do you need to worry about this?  Because as a business that deals in knowledge, Gen Y workers can present a real challenge.  Generation Y is an entirely different type of worker. They are confident and demanding and open to change in a way that previous generations of workers have not been.  Technology and instant communication are second nature and they have high expectations of what a workplace and an employer will provide.

So how do you make the most of this new workforce?  Create a culture that encourages the sharing of knowledge, collaboration and innovation - your Gen Y workers will thrive in this environment.

One of the most talked about characteristics of the Gen Y worker is the fact that they will have multiple jobs and careers throughout their lifetime.  Social market research firm McCrindle Research says Gen Y will live and work longer than previous generations, averaging more than 4 careers and 17 employers in their lifetime!

Now factor in the costs of recruiting and training your staff and it becomes clear that you need to ensure you are capturing the knowledge your people generation to make the most of your investment in training and recruiting them.  

Failure to do this can result in 'brain drain' - the loss of essential information or intelligence that leaves when people move on to roles outside your business.  Once that knowledge is lost, those remaining in the business often need to expend more time and effort to recreate solutions or gather new information.   Unfortunately most B2B businesses are so focussed on delivering their services to their clients they are not watching what knowledge is leaking out of the business as people move on.   

A knowledge sharing culture is not enough on its own - you also need to have tools which capture knowledge as it is created.  These tools must be further supported by processes that move knowledge around the business to help facilitate better service for your clients and better decision making.  Finally, help your people work smarter by creating a centralised knowledge hub that gives the right people access to the right information at the right time to excel in their role.  

What's it like your business?  Are you suffering 'brain drain'?
Comments: 8

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