A mass exodus of talent from the workforce is ongoing. The aging workforce leaving in and a new generation joining creates challenges and opportunities for Field Service. To best harness those opportunities and overcome the obstacles, Knowledge Management is critical.
The Aging Workforce and the Importance of Knowledge Management
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Baby Boomers have passed, met, or nearly approached retirement. The amount of people ages 55 and older has doubled in the last 20 years (What to do about our aging workforce, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). Whether the "grey workforce" has decided to retire or work a bit longer, Field Service industries feel the pressure to find solutions that pass down the strong to a new generation.
In a recent survey from Field Service News, organizations pointed to an aging workforce as a significant concern to their operations with an overwhelming 73% (Is the Ageing Workforce Crisis Going to Hit your Filed Service Organisation?, Field Service News, Kris Oldland, 2018). These concerns come from a shortage of skilled workers, a gap in Field Service knowledge, and the need to onboard many new hires. While the shortage of skilled workers is an ongoing problem, by promoting trade jobs as a viable option and enticing tech workers and engineers into Field Service, the challenge of a knowledge gap is something that each organization must address. Capturing the knowledge of their experienced staff can be difficult if practices are not documented, if technicians worked solo and if training is not done in group settings.