When Operators Retire: Retaining Valuable Information and Onboarding the Next Generation

OpWorks | Operations Made Simple. Anywhere.

Published on October 28, 2022

When Operators Retire: Retaining Valuable Information and Onboarding the Next Generation

Currently, the average age of an operator is approximately 47 years old, and 63% of operators will be retiring within the next 10 years. As these operators exit their positions, they take with them facility-specific knowledge that must be relearned when you onboard new staff. This can be anything from information about how a piece of machinery was installed or repaired a decade ago, or small tweaks that they have made optimize the facility to run more efficiently.

Countless hours can be wasted and mistakes made when new staff have to relearn all this information so retaining institutional knowledge is a must.

This very issue was one of the impetuses for the development of the original OpWorks. Hazel Sletten, an operator and superintendent at the Grand Forks Water Treatment Plant who retired after more than 29 years, worked with our programmers and instrumentation and controls staff as they developed OpWorks. She noted, “you build your knowledge base over time and, if you had a tool like OpWorks, the new operators walking in would have a whole data set and a way to look at it right at their fingertips.”

Fast forward to OpWorks 5.0 and there is even more functionality that make operator’s life a bit easier and keeps knowledge at everyone’s fingertips. For instance, 3D Facility View is a virtual walk through of your facility with the ability to name and tag each asset. Click on the tag and asset details pop up in an instant. Additionally, worksheets and historical data are tied to the asset. OpWorks functions as a repository of knowledge that lets a facility keep all its information in one easy-to-access location.