The words knowledge and management are two very broad concepts when separated. When the two words come together, it describes a method of organizing information in a way that produces an advantage for an organization. In our previous post on Succession Planning, we addressed the need for knowledge management in light of the impending baby boomer retirement wave. Knowledge management and succession planning extend far beyond just preparing for a mass retirement exodus; it’s preparing for the future as new employees are brought into the workplace.
Knowledge management is a program or system designed to create, capture, share and leverage knowledge towards the success of the organization; in other words, plugging the brain drain. Knowledge can be tacit or explicit, and in order to capture that knowledge effectively, an organization must use different strategies, such as written qualification standards and procedures, video productions, or customized classroom training sessions. American Water College has taken this concept and developed a Workforce Development program for Water and Wastewater utilities. We work with utilities to develop a customized training program, maintain the valuable knowledge base, and cross-train employees in various workplace disciplines and certifications. Our methods ensure that the Five C’s of an effective Workforce Development program are addressed:
- Competency Training
- Certification Training
- Continuing Education
- Compliance Training
We provide the training and record-keeping platform, course content, and the training expertise. Utilities and employees provide the organization-specific knowledge and needs. This will plug the brain drain and capture institutional knowledge, create a succession and training plan for the future, and produce a customized, fully-functional Workforce Development program.