October 26, 2017
Written by Lori Mankin
Corporate Amnesia is the loss of working knowledge or “know how” within a company when an employee leaves the organization. Often employees will be tasked with specific responsibilities and tasks in coordination with their own position. This leaves room for the company to lose its knowledge of the employees tasks, processes and overall “know how” should the employee leave the company. Corporate amnesia can be detrimental to a company as they attempt to grow but also fight to retain both talent and knowledge within. The younger generation of workers is now switching jobs twice as fast than their predecessors in the first ten years after graduating. Here are 5 steps you can take to prevent this from happening to your company.
1. Stay organized.
Being organized is one of the most important parts of a healthy business. Organization provides employees with the feeling of stability within a company. By knowing who exactly you report to, and what specific tasks and responsibilities, employees will feel more grounded within the company. By allowing employees to own specific tasks and projects and encouraging them to stay organized by documenting processes will help eliminate Corporate Amnesia in the future.
2. Build an employee knowledge center.
Creating a database of knowledge and process information will ultimately be your best resource in eliminating Corporate Amnesia. By documenting processes within the organization, you are allowing for new employees to quickly and seamlessly join the team without interruption. Employee knowledge centers can not only help onboarding of new employees but can help the entire company increase productivity, from sales to customer service processes.
3. Increase employee retention.
To eliminate Corporate Amnesia from when employees leaving the company, the most obvious step is to reduce the number of employees leaving. There are multiple steps an organization can take to increase employee retention. Some of these steps include paying well, providing guidance, offering unique perks, providing great benefits and others. Employers who take an active role in bettering their company overall in an effort to increase employee retention will see a greater reduction in the side effects of Corporate Amnesia.
4. Take responsibility.
Enforcing employees to take responsibility for both successes and failures will be an important step in cutting Corporate Amnesia from your organization. By creating a system where employees are held responsible for both successes and failures will allow your company to track what works and doesn’t work as far as processes within a specific task or project. Documenting the steps of what works versus what doesn’t will not only help guide new or current employees and cut Corporate Amnesia but will also prevent failures from being repeated. Ultimately, creating a layer of responsibility and tracking will help make your business more efficient.
5. Provide opportunities to cross-train.
Cross training your employees provides multiple benefits within an organization. Cross training provides employees insight into other departments and functions within an organization. This can be extremely valuable when it comes to reducing Corporate Amnesia because you are allowing multiple employees to have visibility into various tasks and processes — knowledge that could otherwise be lost if you hadn’t cross-trained.
Cross training also gives employees the chance to grow and learn new skills. This is valuable in the sense that employees will feel as if the company is investing in their future and feel like they’ve had the opportunity to grow a new skill set that could ultimately help them continue their career growth.
To protect your business against Corporate Amnesia, you must take an active role in preventing from the beginning. By harnessing your company’s and employee’s knowledge in a knowledge sharing platform, you will see a significant reduction in time to onboard new employees and enhanced training opportunities across the company.
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