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Preserving knowledge from employees leaving the company

Digital Transformation 5 May 2023 | Immedia

Organizations have to face this situation very frequently: an experienced employee whose contribution is essential to the company is leaving their position and it is not clear how this will impact the company and whatif the key knowledge will remain in the company or they will take it with themshould be preserved. Without a proper process in place, line managers and HR try to react to this as to get the expert to transfer and codify whatever knowledge they think is important.

While well intentioned in their efforts, both line managers and HR, may miss lots of value and misdirect their time spent in this sort of panic.

Since employees leaving their position is a very common situation, guaranteeing that the key knowledge stays in the company should be part of the systematic activities, that is, part of the company policy and procedures.

In an ideal world, all key knowledge from every employee is continuously collected in the pertinent platform during the day-to-day work, so no special activity is needed just before the employee leaves because all important content has been already preserved!


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Unfortunately, most companies do not live in that ideal world, and they have to put in place measures that address this issue when it comes. Following the pragmatism of Fresh KM, a suggested approach would be:

  • Have HR inform the relevant line managers as soon as they know of an employee leaving the company.

  • Line management and the employee agree on an action plan to collect whatever is deemed most important. This could entail:

    • Flag the most important procedures.

    • List the relevant contacts and providers.

    • Describe some lessons learned during the execution of the tasks.

    • Etc.

  • The employee executes the action plan. If support is needed, it has also to be agreed with line management and the necessary resources allocated as well.

  • For those actions that produce a tangible outcome, e.g. documents, a platform to host them must be selected.

The process as described is mere common sense, though because of the many constraints in the day-to-day business, it is not always followed and in many occasions leading to key personnel leaving the company without transferring their knowledge or information to any corporate platform or newcomer.

Fortunately, Immedia has plenty of experience in the area of knowledge preservation and could be the partner supporting your company!

  • Knowledge management
  • Fresh KM
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