I was thinking about how could an organization deal with their 30+ years of experience senior employees, in a fast paced world of technologies and open communication management?
Will trainings and workshops do the job?
Who are we targeting in here? New joiners or seniors?
I was visiting last week one of our clients in the banking sector in Beirut, and came to know that they were facing a challenge with the human capital age factor. They believe that training isn’t any longer the cure to their performance gap as these highly experienced employees are totally counting on their experience rather than updating themselves with the new high tech working systems.
True, some employees are still using a hand calculator, a pen and a pencil to do their works instead of a simple worksheet. This reoccurring challenge took me back to one of the hotels I know as well, which had an obstacle dealing with a senior employee doing a fair job because of his experience but still resistant to change.
If we invite these people to training, hoping for a change in behavior to develop their competence, we are mistaken. It isn’t the right strategy to use, because a very few number will voluntarily show up at the training as their self-ego doesn’t allow them the see themselves in the same classroom with other junior people.
Where does my 30 years experience go? There inner talk says.
Whatever the facilitator will be talking about, they will be ready to confront him/her with a real example of, ‘Once I had a problem…. And here’s how I dealt with it’ and therefore blocking any opportunity for new ideas and thoughts.
So taking the training out of our selection, we found that these highly skilled people who can act as the leading mentors of the organization, can play a huge role, if they were professionally coached.
Benefits of coaching these mentors are tremendous and reflect positively on the bottom line and the management as well:
1. A tangible Change of Attitude: When these seniors accept to emerge themselves with the trends, they will be ready to embrace change and avoid the risk of losing their jobs.
2. Increasing the sharing of experiences and decreasing mistakes through building interactive relationships at work.
3. Creating a smooth integrated Succession Planning with no cost, where each mentor has a well-informed and motivated successor.
4. Developing a peaceful workplace environment where there are fewer possibilities of pointing fingers and blaming others for simple misunderstandings.
5. Contributing to a shift in mindset from a closed to open communication, where achievements and successes are credited to the team effort and not one person.
6. Enhancing the team productivity and teamwork, since a better delegation and coordination of the tasks will take place.
7. Increasing the learning environment and monthly learning hours. Everyone is learning.
8. Building a matured creativity and innovation culture, where ideas are first brainstormed and selected according to feasibility and return on investment.