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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Pass It On....

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The blog HRBartender.com posted an interesting article recently discussing the implications of an older workforce.   The article references a piece in The Atlantic which stated that: 
For the first time ever, workers over-55 are set to make up a bigger share of the workforce than workers between 25 and 34 years old.
While the tone of the article is a little more "corporate" than most of the small businesses that compose the appliance repair trade, it does delve into an issue that our industry is grappling with in a big way. From the article:
Meanwhile, organizations must recognize that older workers will retire someday. Maybe not next week or next month. Maybe not even next year. But at some point, they will retire and companies should be ready. Plans need to be in place to capture the knowledge of this soon-to-be retiree. Companies should identify the new keepers of historical knowledge and create transition plans for the transfer of those stories, antidotes and information that is essential to remember.
Our trade in general is shrinking as so many of our most experienced technicians retire. This provides both challenges and opportunities. One of the biggest challenges that many small shops face is what happens to the company when the owner retires.  Obviously there are all of the economic considerations to be made, but what happens to all of the knowledge learned in a career in appliance repair? The shame is that so many guys (and the overwhelming majority of technicians are guys) take that hard earned knowledge with them into retirement.

If you find yourself facing retirement, consider taking a younger person under your wings and share your experience with them. It's true you may not see any financial reward for doing so. And it could potentially slow you down in the course of your daily duties. But think back to when you were new to the trade, odds are a veteran of the repair business helped you get started. Now is the time to pay that courtesy forward. Like the saying goes: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Don't let that knowledge leave the trade with you, pass it on. One more thing, if you are retiring, thanks for your years of service and good luck to you, you will be missed.

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