How can we tackle the challenges of demographic change? And how can we make sure that the knowledge and experience of our associates is passed on to the next generation? We ask ourselves these questions almost daily. With its senior experts, Bosch has found a way to share knowledge before it is too late.
Securing the transfer of knowledge
In the context of an aging society, Bosch is facing a major challenge. As a company that files thousands of patents every year, Bosch cannot afford to lose valuable knowledge when experienced associates retire. But demographic change can also be a source of opportunity: knowledge sharing across generations promotes creativity and contributes to innovative solutions. This is why Bosch Diversity Management has focused on mixed-age teams.
Former associates can register as senior experts and share the knowledge they have gained over the course of their careers with their younger colleagues. Bosch Management Support GmbH (BMS) then hires them for consulting or project contracts at Bosch.
More than 1,500 senior experts around the world
The network of senior experts has been growing continuously since 1999, and now comprises 1,500 people around the world. In total, the registered retirees have more than 40,000 years of experience. Today, there are eight BMS branches outside of Germany, with offices in Brazil, the U.K., India, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States. Senior experts work in a broad range of fields: so far, they have spent 65,000 working days in development, production, accounting, purchasing, or marketing and sales. Their tasks are equally diverse: they include training sessions or presentations, quality assurance and management, construction support, process analysis and improvement, as well as mentoring and interim management.
At Bosch, we value the knowledge, life experience, and professional expertise of our highly-qualified associates.
Appreciation for experience
The senior experts program also shows the appreciation that Bosch has for experienced colleagues. The experts' wages are reflective of their previous salaries. This helps ensure that teams do not hire them simply for cost reasons. So far, the experts have received a 93 percent approval rating, which shows that an investment in maintaining knowledge makes good business sense. Moreover, their project and consulting work allows senior experts to keep abreast of new developments in their respective fields of expertise, and enables a soft transition into retirement.
At Bosch, age doesn't count. Rather, we focus on promoting the interaction between practical experience and fresh ideas. To ensure that associates have the best possible qualifications, Bosch spends EUR 260 million each year on education and further training.
associates are part of our pool of experts in 9 countries
years of professional experience in total
working days in service
million euros spent annually on associate education and training
Senior experts are a true asset for Bosch. The wealth of experience that retirees have acquired over decades of work can help their young colleagues gain a firm foothold at the company. Moreover, the program ensures that knowledge is passed on and there is productive dialog between generations. Not only do Senior experts feel appreciated, their work allows them to keep abreast of the latest developments.