Blackboard recently partnered with GovLoop to host “Generation Switch: How to Transfer Boomer Brilliance to Tech-Savvy New Hires,” a webinar on the importance of knowledge sharing within government agencies. The presentation was led by Jeffrey Vargas, the Chief Learning Officer of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The topic of knowledge transfer has been of particular interest within government (and on our blog) largely due to the convergence of the multigenerational workforce and the increasing use of technology in government. Vargas began his presentation by discussing how these new technologies, if properly used, can bring the various generations together so they can better understand and learn from one another.
Vargas went on to explain that knowledge transfer has become particularly relevant due to the upcoming retirement of the Baby Boomers, who represent the largest population in government. Before the Boomers retire, it will be critical for new employees learn what takes to fill in Boomers’ leadership roles and areas of expertise. However, several notable challenges prevent knowledge transfer between Boomers and younger generations, namely:
- Little infrastructure to support it
- Lack of consistency and continuity within knowledge sharing programs
- Difficulty in bringing all generations to define and execute knowledge transfer
To overcome these challenges, Vargas argues that technology has to be a game changer, since it can give a voice to younger, more tech-savvy generation, meet educational desires of all age groups, and offers information that is easy to access, accurate, relevant, enjoyable, and has great utility.
Before technology can be adopted to foster knowledge transfer, however, agencies should run pilot programs and internal marketing campaigns so employees can have a clear understanding of its importance. Some of Vargas’s specific recommendations include:
- Meeting with your CLO to discuss knowledge transfer and earn buy-in
- Being proactive and test new education platforms like including MOOCs or iTunesU
- Offering to serve in a mentoring role to lead by example
Are you fostering knowledge transfer within your government agency? How can we use technology to enhance government training while also encouraging knowledge sharing? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and view full presentation on this topic by clicking here!