GxP Systems Efficiency - Succession Planning
Updated: Feb 27
This ole book shown here reminds me of times kiss on the human condition. We will all age. With each turned page in our lifes we record gained wisdom. If we do not embrace this wisdom we may be bound to repeat past needed learning experiences.
When we retain knowledge base in a company it allows us to understand past decisions and not backtrack. Some 20 years back now I saw this in action. A Change Control procedure had been updated to remove and/or add different features. Early on when the procedure was in its infantcy stage the history was not recorded very well but was in fact added to the end of the document. 20 years later someone thought they knew a better way to do it so they added a feature of the process back in not looking back to all of the process changes. It simply was too much to look through based on how this history was recorded. But, there was one employee who had been there when that change was made. He just so happened to know why they had removed that exact feature of the procedure. We record this information so we don't have to have aged wisdom still around but in this case it was helpful. Back then, while changes were recorded and saved the rational was not.
The accumulated knowledge of a worker is highly valuable. Efficiency is gained when we don't have to continue to figure out how to do something. When older workers are laid off we lose a LOT and in fact it can cost the company far more money to employee a green professional. Tribal knowledge may not always be recorded. So, this is why I mention succession planning.
Older workers with more time employed in industry and the company should rise to the top and mentor those new coming in. There are some things you can only learn over time. There is one problem...
Younger people tend to view older workers as less competent as though the value added lessens with each year. They are viewed as not having the energy to do the job and get sick more. They also make more money. Older workers may in fact cost the company more as it relates to health issues but is this perhaps offset in savings for not having to fix mistakes of a younger generation lacking experience only time adds? Frankly, I've worked with young talent that are not healthy and don't really want to work and lacking critical work ethics. I've seen faces hovered over phones when they should be working. Older workers may be just as guilty. Expected ethical behaviors should be trained in.
I believe we need to have systems that transition young employees in and older knowledge workers out. Why not provide a system to allow older workers to work less hours vs. giving them the boot and forcing early retirement?
Consider adding a process to bring in young talent, mentor and train while keeping aged wisdom on staff and transitioning them out as they desire. Teach young talent to value elders through paring of strengths. It's the right thing to do!
People need work they can rely on and that will lead us to our next topic surrounding the Gig economy and the dangers in this path.
Just some thoughts.....