How to Get Your Top Team Members to Share Their Knowledge


There’s nothing like having an “old hand” on your crew. They know their stuff, and they’re good at what they do.

But how do you get them to pass that knowledge down to the next generation of the workforce?

This is a core problem in the trades, because new crew members can't learn most  of the skills they need in a book. Most of this is not written down. It isn't in YouTube videos. It's in these experienced workers’ heads.

Leadership expert Jocko Willink shares how you can motivate your older workers to share what they know and teach others before they retire from the workforce.

Assign them people to mentor

The Dirt World runs on relationships. It runs on people working side by side, passing down knowledge in their day-to-day roles.

You can create mentorship on the job by assigning a few younger workers to your experienced crew members.

Make it the experienced person’s job to teach the beginners how to operate a machine a certain way, how to finesse a grade, how to do their job in the most efficient way.

And make the value of this mentorship clear to those younger workers. Make it part of their job to watch and pay attention so they can learn. Show them how learning from this older, wiser crew member is going to help their own career growth.

 Make YouTube videos

 Jocko adds that when he and his team have worked with companies, they’ve sometimes made YouTube videos to capture people’s expertise.

“We had people who were helping us to make looms work again. If we would have been 10 years later . . . we would have figured it out eventually. But we caught people who were at that age group [close to retirement],” he says.

Those people were able to get the looms working faster and teach the next generation of workers how to do it, too. Because they made YouTube videos, those people’s knowledge is now preserved—even after they retired from the workforce.

You can do that, too. Literally record what people are doing. But how do you get people to let you put them on camera?

“I think if you highlight that to them, they'll be excited about sharing. Most of them. Say, ‘Hey we want to capture what you do because you're good at it. You’ve spent a long time doing this individual skill.’ They're gonna want to see that,” Jocko explains.

Recording those techniques and skills lets them pass on their knowledge. And they feel good as they exit the workforce, because they know they’ve made lasting contributions that will benefit the next generation of workers.

Fun fact: You don’t even have to upload the videos to YouTube. If you have BuildWitt Training, you can upload the videos there and assign them as training lessons for your crew members. Then you can track whether the people who need to know these skills have watched the videos or not.


Your experienced team members have valuable knowledge, and you need them to share it with the next generation of workers.

The two best ways to go about it are 1) assign your “old hands” a few younger workers to mentor and 2) make videos showing experienced people’s skills.

You can upload the videos to public platforms like YouTube, or you can make them exclusive for your company with training software like BuildWitt Training.

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