• Social Learning & Knowledge Management

50% of Your Skilled Workers are Leaving — How Do You Capture Their Knowledge?

If 50% of your experienced workers were due to retire in the next 5-10 years, what would that mean for employee training, recruitment, and knowledge sharing at your organization?

For companies that work in the oil and gas sector, it’s no hypothetical question. The impact of an aging workforce and a struggle to find capable new talent means that the energy industry is indeed facing a significant skills challenge. Experienced engineers in the sector are in short supply — and as more and more of those experts leave, energy companies are being pushed to carefully consider how their internal knowledge is preserved and shared.

While the situation is particularly stark in the oil and gas industry, the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation is now well underway, and many businesses are having to critically examine how the expertise they currently hold within their businesses can be maintained even after their experts make their goodbyes and walk out the door for the final time.

A number of organizations have found video can be a simple solution that both taps into existing knowledge management procedures, while also taking advantage of the latest buzz around corporate social learning to better capture various aspects of an outgoing member of staff’s knowledge. So how exactly can video aid the effort to curate an organization’s knowledge-base effectively, and what might that mean for sectors with heightened challenges in this area?

Video is one of the best ways to capture a complex process or procedure

Filming subject-matter experts demonstrating what they do is already one of the most common use cases for video at the organizations we currently work with. It’s especially valuable in an industry like oil and gas where practical or technical skills are easier to show than describe.

Getting your retiring experts to record a complete demonstration of a particular process creates a compelling piece of visual documentation for any new hire coming in to replace them. In an industry with particularly complex systems or procedures, this kind of learning content is invaluable. With a system like Panopto, it’s possible to record multiple video sources, making it easy to show something from as many angles as necessary.

See how we capture expert knowledge at Panopto:



Video can document the nuances that make your experts…experts!

Your experts are invaluable to your organization because they have accumulated a wealth of knowledge about how things should and shouldn’t be done. One of the biggest challenges organizations face when one of these experts is about to leave is that so much of their knowledge is embedded in the way they go about their day job that you might not even know what information you most want to preserve.

There is often an intangible something about the way a particular employee goes about things that are hard to capture in a Word document alone. In a complex field like oil and gas, you face an additional level of complexity — you’re not just trying to lay out the core learning around a difficult topic, you’re also trying to find a way to keep hold of highly personal and specific approaches and methodologies that, say, a field engineer has built up over many years.

While you can never retain every last detail, simply pressing record and letting someone go about their everyday activities can yield a wealth of information on the nuances of how they work that make them so effective. From how to optimize procedures, to how to handle large-scale projects, video can give you a ‘fly on the wall’ view of your outgoing employees’ working practices.

If you’re facing challenges around preserving the learning of key retiring members of staff and you would like to find out more about the role video can play in capturing both the complexity of what they do and how they do it, you can request a free trial to see Panopto’s flexible video platform in action for yourself.