Business case 1 – Knowledge Retirement Risk Analysis

Situation: a large group of employees would retire soon, top management wanted to know if any core experts were in this retiree group.

Outcome: Guruscan found the core experts in strategic knowledge topics. Knowledge redundancy was achieved by implementing an HR retainment strategy for their surrounding colleagues.

A Dutch company with 9000 employees divided over 19 business locations and increasing demand for ecological knowledge was facing the challenge that a large group of people would retire soon. Top management wanted to know if any core experts were in the retiree group and if so, how many.

We ran a bottom-up knowledge inquiry using the GuruScan knowledge app and included the age information to the individual experts in our technology. The resulting knowledge graph had more than 400 knowledge topics and close to 1000 experts (also outside the department).

In the analysis, our technology grouped employees to represent how close they were to retirement; red = close retirement and green = far from retirement. The Guruscan app also distinguished critical experts (larger spheres) from non-critical experts (smaller spheres).

Figure: knowledge map of experts in relation to closeness to retirement (color) and expertise (size)

Of all the employees close to retirement; only seven appeared to be critical experts. A group of three was identified as the core of the knowledge network. These three people have a lot of knowledge and are valuable resources for the department and organization. To ensure knowledge continuity and mitigate this retirement risk, a mentoring program had been set up to transfer knowledge from these three experts to the younger experts.

Hereby they made sure to retain this field of expertise, even after the retirement of the current important experts.

All of the other employees close to retirement appeared to be non-critical, which was the biggest relief to the leadership team. Instead of worrying about all retiring employees, leadership was now able to focus on coping with the important ones.

There was a second critical expert group identified but this knowledge cluster also had more younger experts already in place.

For this group, to ensure knowledge continuity, HR and leadership executed a retention plan for the surrounding younger experts.

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