With a wave of retirements causing a “silver tsunami” and organizations changing rapidly, supply chain leaders are worried about losing critical knowledge. Critical knowledge is knowledge about core products, services, processes, or business areas that would cause financial or reputational damage if lost. Too often, critical knowledge is stuck in the heads of long-tenured employees and experts or filed away on local desktops and file cabinets. Supply chain leaders need to work with stakeholders to convert this knowledge into learning materials, tools, and processes that other employees can use. This process is called knowledge retention and transfer.
This article describes the basics of knowledge retention and transfer: what it consists of, how to select the right approach, some essential best practices, and the first steps in launching a knowledge transfer initiative within your supply chain.