The world of work is undergoing a seismic shift. A trend, long-anticipated but hastened by the COVID pandemic in 2020, has become a present crisis. The “Aging Storm,” a metaphor akin to the original “Gray Wave” or “Silver Tsunami,” refers to the situation where a vast number of seasoned employees, particularly from the Post-War Generation, are approaching retirement age.
This demographic trend is leaving gaping holes in the workforce and a wealth of untapped knowledge that’s often not documented for future generations.
The Post-War Generation, now in the twilight of their careers, bring to the table a lifetime of experience and knowledge. As they step away, they leave a vacuum that’s hard to fill, especially with a smaller number of younger individuals stepping into working-class jobs. This demographic shift was once a future concern, until the COVID pandemic made it a pressing issue.
In 2021, the American workforce witnessed a significant shakeup. The Wall Street Journal reported that approximately 47 million workers quit their jobs. This mass exodus, known as “The Big Quit,” saw many from the Post-War Generation opting for early retirement and a large number of younger employees leaving their jobs.
AR-enabled expertise sharing tools and other digital transformation technologies come to the rescue in this challenging environment. These technologies not only supplement the physical world with digital imagery, audio, or other sensory feedback but also enhance a worker’s day and skill set. They support the evolving workforce in diagnosing specific issues, working alongside subject matter experts, original equipment manufacturers, and global suppliers.
Digital transformation gives organizational leaders the tools to effectively monitor operational results.
Moreover, certain digital transformation solutions aid in improving the capture and distribution of knowledge within organizations. The procured and digitized knowledge can then be used for on-the-spot training to new employees, upskilling for current workers, and even remote mentorship for seasoned, expert workers.
Our work habits are evolving.
Today’s younger workers, raised in the digital age and for whom Space Invaders is a retro symbol on a trendy T-shirt, favor a tech-savvy approach to learning. They desire and require access to on-the-spot training on digital platforms, demanding more engaging and interactive training.
Furthermore, digital transformation gives organizational leaders the tools to effectively monitor operational results. The data gathered through digitization can be used to gain a clearer understanding of an organization’s operations, allowing for the identification of trends and areas for improvement.
In conclusion, digital transformation solutions offer an innovative and consistent approach to address the challenges posed by the Aging Storm. By leveraging advanced AR and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, workforces can access relevant data, content, experts, digital work instructions, and more, at the exact time the critical information is needed, regardless of the worker’s location. It’s a brave new world, and it’s time we embraced it.