Can credit unions adapt to the multigenerational workplace?

by. Emily Maxie

Today we have a special guest blog for you from our friends at Credit Union Resources. Norma Garza, their AVP for Remote Transaction Resources, gives an interesting take on the multigenerational workplace and how credit unions can adapt to meet its changing needs.

Knowledge transfer—the practical problem of transferring knowledge from one part of the organization to another.

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the term. Being a student of life and academia, knowledge transfer has been a point of contention with me. Why is it that some organizations, departments, and or people seem to have an easier time of doing this than others? And how relevant is knowledge transfer in today’s environment anyway? Does it even rank in your organization’s list of priorities? Right at our fingertips we have Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, the cloud, iPads, cellphones and the list goes on and on. It seems the transfer of knowledge has pretty much been taken care of. Anyway, if a question comes up, we just Google it.

As a matter of fact, you might very well be thinking there’s so much information floating around and in your face on a daily basis that there’s not much more you can absorb or your head will burst! So why worry about knowledge transfer? If there’s anything you or anyone else needs to know, the information will be there. Or will it? How many times have you been in a panic because you’re working on a special project or in the midst of having to provide details to a member or coworker and don’t have the information you need. Or you didn’t even realize information was lacking which could and would have provided a more complete picture.

For the most part, I’m sure your credit union does a good job of providing you the documented processes, procedures and information you need to perform your job. Furthermore, tactical knowledge is available from your tenured coworkers. However, what happens when those most trusted knowledge-based people retire or leave unexpectedly?

Unfortunately, the reality is that our credit union industry is experiencing this fact at a rapid pace. As our industry has matured so has the age of the average credit union employee. While turnover for a variety of reasons is inevitable in any organization, credit unions are experiencing an exodus of rich intellectual knowledge-based tenured management and staff. As such, how will all this wealth of experience and knowledge transfer to continue the success of the organization and those left behind?

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