How to Preserve Your Institutional Knowledge

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 06/18/19
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Topics: Leadership

omar-sotillo-franco-1325419-unsplashEveryone knows that there’s an expected approaching labor shortage due to the increasing number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age.

But have you considered the devastating impact that the pending loss of institutional knowledge from such retirements could have on your firm’s profitability?

Such institutional knowledge is one of the most valuable assets that an A/E/C firm has, and yet it is one of the most vulnerable. This issue has the potential to be compounded by Generation Xers and Millennials being more likely to jump around from employer to employer.

What can you do?
In spite of the myriad other issues demanding your attention, firms that start planning now to address this issue are the ones that will have a strong, competitive edge in future years.

Here are some guidelines for protecting your institutional knowledge:

  • Hold lunch-and-learn sessions where senior-level employees convey information to younger employees about the company’s history, project experience, and lessons learned. This form of storytelling can be both entertaining and educational, and improve working relationships between workers of different generations while passing on knowledge.

  • Document your story, experience, and procedures. For example, review and update project descriptions to be more comprehensive so that you have a documented record of the company’s portfolio of experience.

  • Establish standards by having your experienced personnel document best design practices.

  • Develop and implement a mentoring program. This can be through a formal or informal program, run by your HR folks or your project managers.

  • Move senior-level personnel into more of a consulting role and have them participate in a contributory manner on a larger number of projects. This maintains their billable utilization, but spreads their hours among a larger number of projects and facilitates their routine contact with a greater percentage of your employee population.

The sooner you can implement an institutional knowledge preservation program, the easier it will be to retain this important information.


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Your also might be interested in these leadership related blog posts:

Developing the Next Generation of Principals

Expert Interview: Developing Next Generation Leaders

Where Are The Next Generation Leaders?

Are You Doing What it Takes to Build Rapport with Senior Leadership?



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