What’s Killing Your Knowledge Retention?

By on July 17, 2017

From Procore Jobsite:  You already know that frustrated, angry feeling that comes when you’ve just seen the same mistake happen for the third time. When the concrete crew doesn’t install the anchor bolts, or the framers use the wrong lumber for the bottom plates, it’s time to start all over. Assuming these aren’t intentional mistakes; you’re left to wonder just where things went wrong.

The answer might lie in your company’s ability to harness, leverage, and preserve knowledge. And, this ability is increasingly determining which firms are coming out on top. These top performers are seeing continuous improvement in their operations, responding to customers more quickly, reducing rework, and discovering new ways to add value to their products and services. They’re also finding new revenue streams.

What You Don’t Know You’re Losing, Could Hurt You

There are at least 10 objectives in retaining knowledge. Many construction firms already focus on at least a few of them. Capturing lessons learned on specific projects, bringing new leaders up to speed quickly, and cutting the time it takes to get new recruits proficient in their roles are widely practiced. They’re simply aspects of effective management.

But, other objectives in retaining knowledge often fall by the wayside for several reasons. When P.M. Carrillo, and P. Chinowsky analyzed results of surveys sent to construction firms, they found six barriers to knowledge retention.

  • Lack of time
  • Excessive caution about new management ideas
  • Lack of money
  • Company cultures with low tolerance for outside ideas
  • Competitive environment between employees and departments

When you can curb the influence of the barriers, you can more easily attack the other objectives behind your knowledge retention.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Capture knowledge before people leave the company
  • Create a knowledge-sharing culture
  • Provide mentorships and apprenticeships that link seasoned employees with new employees
  • Prevent the loss of customer knowledge
  • Prevent loss of technical knowledge
  • Prevent loss of operational knowledge
  • Develop or redesigning your education and training programs

Read more.


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