For years, experts have been talking about what it will mean when the baby boomers retire. Well, the time has come. That segment of the population has started to leave the workforce. Those that haven’t are almost certainly thinking about it. This has already started to put a tremendous strain on the companies who have relied on their knowledge and expertise for the last 40 years or more.
However, the problem is being exacerbated by the fact that the new generation entering the workforce doesn’t seem to have near the loyalty to their employers as previous generations. In fact, the average tenure in the workforce has declined by over 20% since 1983. But after watching their parents lose their jobs due to downsizing and company closures, who can blame them?
These two realities have created a tremendous challenge for companies that operate in this environment. How can employers make up for increasing turnover and less experience in the job market? In our experience working with the purchasing departments at various wholesalers, we have seen this challenge quite often. One potential answer lies in the software packages your business chooses to run. In fact, the right software package can offer three huge benefits that greatly reduce the impact of this labor “perfect storm.”
Transfer of Knowledge
Let’s face it, the employees who have either retired or are getting ready to retire are good…really good. The amount of knowledge they accumulated over their careers will be impossible to replace. So before they leave, wouldn’t it be nice to have a good way to save that knowledge?
The right software package can allow this transition to be much more seamless than ever before. Whether it’s your ERP, warehouse management solution, replenishment package, or anything else that is critical to your operation, your employees need a place where they can input the rules, criteria, and tidbits they have gathered through the years. Once this information is in your system, a good package can make a transition to a new employee dramatically easier.
This should come as no surprise, but the days of hiring a new employee out of college with experience running a green screen or other character-based interface are rapidly coming to an end. In fact, very few people entering the workforce have any idea what the function keys on a keyboard ever did! If your software doesn’t evolve with your employees, it’s costing you a tremendous amount of time and money to train new employees on your software.
There may be no better reason to improve a software interface than this. Today’s modern enterprise software packages have a graphical interface that the younger generation adapts to and learns much more rapidly. This means less down time and fewer mistakes than they would face with a time-worn character-based system. In addition, often a graphical interface presented in a browser gives you the ability to access your system from any computer or device, anywhere.
Training and Support
Finally, this change in the work environment has created a unique opportunity for enterprise software packages to really put a focus on their training and support. The antiquated idea of bringing in a consultant to train your employees has been replaced by software packages with built in training tools. In addition, software companies are much more willing and able to support their packages without the associated huge expense.
So if you find yourself in the middle of the employee “perfect storm”, there is hope. If you’re already looking for a new software package, finding one with these three traits will prove to be tremendously beneficial to your company. If you’re not currently looking…maybe it’s time to start.