In almost any company, the most important element is human capital. But what happens when older employees with a wealth of knowledge, and years of experience, decide to retire? Does all that know-how walk out the door with them? Not necessarily. Below is a great solution found by American Express.
The Coming Tsunami of Knowledge Loss
As the baby-boomer generation gets set to retire, many companies are facing the question of how they will replace this loss in workforce experience. According to one report, starting in 2017 more than 10,000 baby boomers will be leaving the workforce every day. So, how can this knowledge be replaced?
AMEX Finds A Solution
To combat this, American Express implemented a smart solution several years ago. In this solution, AMEX instituted a program that allows these more knowledgeable employees to give up a portion of their daily tasks in order to teach classes and mentor their successors.
A Win-Win Proposal
This program benefits both retiring employees and the company at-large in several ways. First, the program allows retiring employees the benefit of a lighter workload. For retiring employees, this lighter workload often allows them to remain with the company for an additional year or two longer than they had intended before retiring. This fact allows the retiring employee to earn more income, and contribute further to their retirement funds, rather than deducting from them.
For the company on the whole, the benefits of sharing this invaluable knowledge are immeasurable. The knowledge gained by employees working within the company for 10, 20, or even 30 years provides a base of knowledge that cannot be gained anyplace else. For those just entering the workforce, learning these benefits is also immeasurable. By learning what works, and almost as importantly, what does not, the day-to-day operations of the business can be made to run that much more smoothly. These situations extend from the boardroom, to the office floor, and even to relationships outside of the company.
A Happier, More Knowledgeable Workforce
Reportedly, American Express believes this program has been a tremendous success so far. By allowing retiring employees to more thoroughly enjoy their final working years while simultaneously training the next generation, American Express may have discovered a human-capital based solution for a modern-day problem. Perhaps this is one more reason American Express was named #23 on Fortune’s 2017 Best Companies to Work For.