It’s hard to miss all the cries of fear about the coming brain drain. The boomers are going to retire, and if you listen to most workplace consultants, there’s going to be no one left in the halls of Corporate America to run the store. Those Gen Xers among us keep waiting for this golden career opportunity to suddenly materialize—plenty of challenging jobs! room to move!—but then keep wondering why we watch so many of our peers get laid off.
If you are a believer that the brain drain is coming—and few argue it won’t have at least some effects—you may want to take a read of this new report out by job search company Monster. It highlights a few startling statistics:
>>Only 12 percent of human resource managers report knowledge retention as a high priority within their organizations, despite the fact that one-third estimate 20 percent or more of their current workforce will be eligible for retirement over the next several years.
>>Only 23 percent of firms report having a formal method to identify the knowledge that needs to be protected and retained.
>>43 percent of respondents cite the ability to measure the ROI and effectiveness of a knowledge retention program as a chief stumbling block to implementing a formal strategy.
Monster Study Reveals Organizations Not Adequately Prepared for Impending Employee ''Brain Drain''
U.S. employers largely recognize they face an imminent worker shortage due to Baby Boomer retirements; however, few have a formal strategy in place to manage and retain worker knowledge, according to a survey released today by Monster®. The corresponding report, titled ?Building and Securing an Organizational Brain Trust in an Age of Brain Drain,? reveals that only 12 percent of human resource managers report knowledge retention as a high priority within their organizations ? despite the fact that one-third estimate 20 percent or more of their current workforce will be eligible for retirement over the next several years. Monster is the leading global online careers and recruitment resource and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: MNST).
?While institutional knowledge is increasingly an organization?s most valuable asset, our study found many companies do not have the processes in place to preserve and redistribute this critical information,? said Jesse Harriott, vice president of research, Monster. ?Bridging this Gap represents a significant opportunity for companies to gain a competitive edge in a global economy where knowledge is increasingly becoming the primary resource for value.?
The study reveals that while HR managers recognize the looming issue of losing institutional knowledge due to retirement, many face barriers to establishing strategies and tactics that help preempt the problem.
Key findings include:
Turnover vs. Retirement: More firms perceive conventional turnover as a higher risk to losing organizational knowledge than loss due to retirement, as younger workers leaving an organization not only take away knowledge, but typically bring it to competitors.
What You Can?t Measure, You Can?t Manage: Only 23 percent of firms report having a formal method to actually identify the knowledge that needs to be protected and retained.
Proving ROI: 43 percent of respondents cite the ability to measure the ROI and effectiveness of a knowledge retention program as a chief stumbling block to implementing a formal strategy.
Unmotivated Workers: Only one-third of firms report that their workers are rewarded or encouraged to share organizational knowledge with colleagues.
?As knowledge is perceived to be a key source of internal power, employees often think that sharing what they know makes them less valuable to the organization. In reality, the opposite is true. Therefore, employers must strive to make information-sharing part of the company culture,? added Harriott. ?Furthermore, no single tool has emerged that readily enables companies to effectively meet knowledge-retention challenges. Thus, organizations should AIM to manage information with a broad strategic approach, utilizing various tactics to determine what will be most successful.?
Despite the obstacles, there are concrete steps organizations can take to help mitigate the affects of brain drain. Key recommendations from the study include:
C-Level Accountability: Appoint a Chief Knowledge Officer to be responsible for organizational knowledge.
Pinpoint the Goods: Implement a formal program to actively identify key knowledge assets and its sources.
Employee Incentives: Provide knowledge-sharing incentives for employees and incorporate standards in Performance reviews.
Tools for Involvement: Create a blogging forum and mentoring program whereby employees can redistribute and access organizational knowledge.
?While brain drain is a looming problem for employers, it presents an excellent opportunity for innovative companies to position themselves for better competitive advantage,? concluded Harriott. ?Companies that aggressively manage and protect their knowledge can readily increase their value as an organization.?
Knowledge Retention Webinar
Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Time: 2:00 ? 3:00 p.m. ET
Topic: According to The Economist, approximately half the top workers at America?s 500 leading companies will retire in the next five years. How can you help retain the vast knowledge of these workers before they leave your organization?
The study was a nationwide online survey conducted in NOVEMBER 2006 of 550 human resources managers with high level knowledge of their firms? strategies. The sample consisted of a cross section of U.S. organizations representing small- to large-size firms that operate in the government, private and non-profit sectors. The executive summary and full report are currently available online via http://intelligence.monster.com/14455_en-US_p1.asp.
About Monster Worldwide
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: MNST), parent company of Monster®, the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade, strives to bring people together to advance their lives. With a local presence in key markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, Monster works for everyone by connecting employers with quality job seekers at all levels and by providing personalized career advice to consumers globally. Through online media sites and services, Monster delivers vast, highly targeted audiences to advertisers. Monster Worldwide is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ 100. To learn more about Monster?s industry-leading products and services, visit www.monster.com. More information about Monster Worldwide is available at www.monsterworldwide.com.
Special Note: Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Except for historical information contained herein, the statements made in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding Monster Worldwide, Inc.?s strategic direction, prospects and future results. Certain factors, including factors outside of Monster Worldwide?s control, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward- looking statements, including economic and other conditions in the markets in which Monster Worldwide operates, risks associated with acquisitions, competition, seasonality and the other risks discussed in Monster Worldwide?s Form 10-K and other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.