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Retaining Organizational Knowledge

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HR Information Management

In many companies, it often becomes the reality that certain specialized knowledge tends to rest with one person. As the years pass and that individual gains more experience in their role, the depth and breadth of knowledge resting with just one individual can become quite substantial.

Should this one individual move on to another opportunity or even retire, as is often the case with older employees, key information can be lost. This is why companies are strongly encouraged to take steps to ensure organizational knowledge is secure and passed onto the next generation of workers.

Selecting a Successor

A key step that business leaders can take is carefully identifying individuals who hold undocumented knowledge and upcoming talent who may need to step into critical roles down the road. Thereby, businesses can look at implementing processes for knowledge transfer within the team, such as job shadowing, mentorship programs, and simply enabling information sharing meetings where team members can keep each other in the loop. By doing so, there is less of a chance that productivity is crippled when change happens.

Documentation and Process Mapping

Another important steps is related to initiatives to document and institutionalize key knowledge that has been gained from years of experience. This can take the form of:

  • Procedural Documents
  • Training Manuals
  • Reference Materials (company-specific as well as industry material)
  • Lists of Key Contacts
  • Technical Documentation for Software or Machinery

Ensure any training manuals include all the relevant information a successor would need in order to step into the role as seamlessly as possible.

Not only does a backup plan protect the business when a key employee eventually decides to move to a new opportunity or transition to retirement, it also allows for continuity during short-term absences, such as vacation or medical leaves. A well thought-out backup plan makes these events smoother for both the employee and the organization as a whole.

Here to Help

Would you like to learn more about how you can help to build a succession plan to preserve key knowledge? We can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected].

For further details on how Honiva can help you prepare your employees for retirement, please view our service offerings.

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Further Reading

Other articles you may be interested in:

Planning for the New Year: Updating Your HR Documents

Review Your HR Policies: Start The New Year Strong

Safeguarding Employee Data

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