3 Things We Can Learn From “Tribal Knowledge” Before Baby Boomers Retire

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3 Things We Can Learn From “Tribal Knowledge” Before Baby Boomers Retire

An integral component of workplace management is ensuring all employees are adept and well versed in all facets of their job. If workers lack understanding or information about their roles within the company, a business will struggle to maintain its productivity.

With nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement daily, companies – especially in the field of manufacturing – must find a way to pass along unwritten knowledge throughout the workplace in order to continue flourishing.

Employers need to identify what tribal knowledge exists, its relevancy and pertinence, and employ a method to document and record it.

Here are 3 key strategies to employ to preserve beneficial tribal knowledge.


  1. Identify Sources of Tribal Knowledge

The best way to find the keyholder of tribal knowledge in your company is to start with the most senior employees. Typically, the most experienced and oldest employees are accustomed to the tradition of tribal knowledge, and, at the very least, can direct you to a worker who is.


  1. Weigh the Validity of Tribal Knowledge

Not all tribal knowledge is valuable, and it is important to ensure that the information is accurate, beneficial, and compliant with current regulations.

  • Some techniques or strategies may be inconsistent with current industry standards;
  • Antiquated methods are not always irrelevant, so keep an open mind about traditional practices;
  • Not all tribal knowledge is good; and
  • Remember that application and theory are different, and that workers may have a valuable perspective and practical reason why they favor certain processes.


  1. Document

Find a manner that is suitable for recording, documenting, and storing tribal knowledge. Writing down information is not always enough. Make sure you have developed a system to properly organize the information. partnering with a company that specializes in digitizing data, or think about purchasing software that can record and file the information quickly and efficiently.


With The Greatest Generation set to retire, companies now face the task of replenishing experienced, veteran workers with new employees. Consider partnering with a staffing agency or workforce management company to help ease the transition. Top Notch Personnel is a valuable resource worth consulting, and their experienced staffing specialists can offer services to assist your businesses as your workforce transitions.


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