Knowledge Transfer: Easing the Transition During Staff Changes

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Staffing changes are inevitable. Employees grow and move up within your organization or take positions at other companies, causing you to hire new staff members to take their places. You grow and take on more team members to keep up with demand. But the struggle does not end when you fill these empty positions. New team members require a great deal of training and mentoring to get them on the same level as the long term employees they replace.

Make this transition smoother by following these tried and true tips.

  • Take Advantage of the Cloud

    Storing all of your company data in the cloud saves you countless hours when you’re preparing to train a new employee. Rather than gathering all of the files that he or she will need and making sure they are stored and organized on the computer they’ll be using simply give them access to the past team member’s Dropbox folder and other relevant cloud-based sites. Rather than spending hours transferring data, one click and you’re new employee has all the files they need to get started!

  • Use Your Blog to Its Full Potential

    Yes, your blog is a great external marketing tool, allowing you to share news with your customers and regularly post content for SEO purposes, but it can also be an effective platform to transfer knowledge internally. Let’s face it, your work doesn’t stop when you have to train a new employee. There are instances when you are simply too busy to give a well-rounded explanation. Here’s where your blog comes in. Rather than personally explaining a certain process, topic, or event, point them to a relevant article on your blog. It may not answer all of their questions, but it will certainly give them a much better frame of reference.

    Recently, our new Marketing Coordinator asked about our process for keyword research. The office has been extremely busy lately, but we were able to point her to a blog that we had written a few months back. The blog provided enough detail that she was able to successfully carry out keyword research for a new client, only asking for clarification once.

  • Schedules, Processes, and Documentation!

    Before a team member leaves, have him or her write down all of the tasks and processes that they complete in a regular week, as well as any monthly items for which they may be responsible. Though these employees may have functioned just fine without ever documenting this information, it’s not going to do your new employees any good unless it’s captured before they start. Having them write down time estimates for each task is helpful too. You can’t expect your new team members to operate as fast as those who’ve been with you for year but a time estimate gives them a target at which to shoot.

  • Consider How Your New Employee Learns Best

    Though having written resources like your blog and internal process documentation is key for the storage of knowledge and information, simply reading these materials may not be effective training for some employees. Some people find that information doesn’t really begin to sink in until it’s verbally explained to them while others are more visual learners. Ask your new employees how they learn best. If they’re not sure, give them information in a few different ways and observe their response. The quality of their work and time spent on it will reveal how they best comprehend instructions and information.

If you’re currently experiencing staff changes, trust us we feel for you. But following the simple tips above can make the transition go much more smoothly.

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