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80,000 hours experience just walked out the door.

By Nick Freedman, CEO, Retire on Purpose.


Did you that 80,000 hours of experience walks out the door with each retiree? 

Consider for a moment how much a 60 year (who started work at 20), has invested in themselves. How many learning programs they have attended. How many challenges they have learned to tackle. And what level of resilience this has cultivated within them. They are a valuable asset within your business.  

Much this accumulated experience is what's called “tacit knowledge”. This is where all the good stuff lays and how many of the day to day challenges in your business are getting solved. 

 Wikipedia states that….   

“Tacit knowledge can be defined as skills, ideas and experiences that are possessed by people but are not codified and may not necessarily be easily expressed. With tacit knowledge, people are not often aware of the knowledge they possess or how it can be valuable to others. Effective transfer of tacit knowledge generally requires extensive personal contact, regular interaction, and trust. This kind of knowledge can only be revealed through practice in a particular context and transmitted through social networks”.

What is more interesting though, is that many organisations simply open the door and let retirees walk through it, without much effort to capture, teach and spread their rich expertise to those who will take over. This seems to be a wasted opportunity. 

The good news is that reversing this trend to build a sustainable knowledge flow is easy. A means to create open dialogue about when people are considering leaving is the first step. This is followed by a mentoring program with appropriate matching. Then regular time/space each month for departing leaders to mentor their successors will ensure this rich source of tactic knowledge can turn into explicit knowledge. The benefit? Your organisational knowhow is captured and not lost. 

And as increasing numbers of baby boomers reach retirement age, this is an area which progressive HR leaders are focussing on resolving. 

If you work in HR, Talent, OD, DEI, (or are an interested 50-70 employee) who wants to shift this trend in your organisation, please join our conversation on March 2nd. See the link below for more information and to sign up.    




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