Nearly two million older workers have either chosen or been chosen for early retirement since the start of the global pandemic, leaving the workforce for good according to the AARP. That represents a significant departure of trained and experienced workers in numerous fields across a wide range of industries.
While the social and economic impacts of this transition are hard to measure currently, one thing is clear to those organizations affected: with those people goes a wealth of knowledge.
Information is an asset in any business, and that includes process information. Veteran staff know a business’ procedures and practices from years of familiarity and experience. Oftentimes these people will be the subject matter experts that teams rely on to provide advice or direction. It is quite possible that long-serving employees even helped develop or refine organizational processes or best practices.
When those people leave the business, much of that knowledge goes with them. Without someone on-hand to provide insight or advice, many business processes can break down quickly, and vital steps can be missed or mishandled. This can impact everything from quality and efficiency to compliance and safety and will undoubtedly influence customer satisfaction and the bottom line.
On the other hand, more than half of Gen-Z workers are less engaged and less excited with work in the post-pandemic environment, describing themselves as ‘merely surviving or struggling’ according to a recent Microsoft survey. Many are finding themselves thrust into new roles or areas with little or no onboarding and limited references to draw from. What few processes and procedures exist are held in outdated manuals or recorded in lengthy text-based documents which obscure more than they reveal about best practice.
The key factor that connects these two issues is proper process management.
Processes preserve knowledge
Where organizations are at risk of losing key procedural experience through the departure of long-serving staff, process champions can leverage their knowledge to build key processes and procedures into the business’ process management platform. By working with the process experts, they can capture that wealth of knowledge and ensure that vital operational activities are recorded.
By using process management software like Nintex Promapp®, that burden does not have to fall on a few process gurus. Teams can be empowered to record their own processes, then work with experts to refine the procedures and ensure all the appropriate documentation is connected. Once those processes are in place, the process doers can use the platform as a starting point for continuous improvement conversations, offering updates and innovations based on their insights and experience.
Make experience accessible
More than just preserving that institutional knowledge, Nintex Promapp® also makes it usable. As a cloud-based app, the tool is intuitive for digital natives, and takes the volumes of experience and expertise captured and makes it accessible.
The process map view is a simple and clear representation of each process, giving an easy-to-digest overview of the key activities. Users are not overwhelmed with detail or complexity and can grasp the core purpose of any process at a glance. When the user is ready for more detail, task-level information is one click away.
This accessibility is a huge benefit to new hires and younger team members. Rather than “learning through osmosis” or bespoke over-the-shoulder coaching sessions, they have a single source of truth they can search which reliably contains all the vital information about their tasks. Information, in the form of supporting documentation, images, videos, and web-links to relevant systems or resources, is embedded into the flow of work for easy access.
By being able to readily review key processes, junior staff can operate with confidence, and maintain an effective cadence with their work. Instead of needing input from busy supervisors or colleagues, or trying to digest lengthy physical manuals, they can quickly and easily access clear and concise process information that allows them to continue moving towards their objectives.
The process bridge
The changing face of the workforce brought about by the post-pandemic world is a significant shift that will continue to challenge businesses for years to come.
A key tool to manage the potential impact will be effective and engaging processes that capture valuable business knowledge and make it accessible to everyone who needs it.
Talk to us today to find out how Nintex Promapp® can help preserve the experience of your veteran staff and accelerate the onboarding of new hires.