November 21, 2022
Are you prepared to prevent knowledge loss during times of employee turnover?
Managers are increasingly concerned about loss of knowledge due to unprecedented employee turnover. The ongoing “Great Resignation,” retiring boomers, a fiercely competitive market for tech talent, plus recent tech giant layoffs, make the effects of worker turnover on organizational knowledge retention particularly relevant during these volatile economic times.
Enterprises prepared with agile knowledge management processes and an effective knowledge sharing culture are poised to prevent the damaging effects of knowledge loss during periods where employee turnover is unavoidable.
The negative effects of knowledge loss during worker turnover
Knowledge loss is an often overlooked byproduct of employee turnover despite it being risky business for large global enterprises. Losing a single employee can cost companies up to 213% of that individual’s salary because it takes up to two years’ time to get a new hire to the same level of efficiency as their predecessor.
Meanwhile, the harmful effects of knowledge loss from employee turnover can spill into other areas of the business. It can take the form of:
- Mounting pressure on existing employees because they have to recover and relearn a leaving employee’s knowledge in order to pick up the slack. This can trigger more employee dissatisfaction and, in turn, additional waves of turnover, causing even more disruption.
- Poor customer experience due to knowledge gaps left by departing employees which can undermine customer service efforts. This can lead to unhappy customers, spawn complaints, and damage brand loyalty and customer retention.
- Neglected or abandoned business processes. Employee turnover can jeopardize day-to-day operations, severely reduce productivity, and lead to serious mistakes.
- Difficulty hiring new talent. In a recent study, almost half of the managers surveyed agreed that “loss of knowledge or expertise will harm their organization’s ability to hire new employees,” and even more (56%) agreed “it will hurt the organization’s ability to onboard new employees.”
Employee turnover is always a risk, but knowledge loss doesn’t have to be. When your organization is going through periods of employee turnover, there are ways to mitigate the damaging effects of knowledge loss and bridge the knowledge gaps between departing employees and new hires.
The benefits of knowledge retention in the face of employee turnover
Organizational knowledge retention is critical to softening the blow of employee turnover. When large enterprises invest in knowledge management and retention processes, the enterprise can respond to and recover from periods of employee turnover with more speed and agility.
Benefits of effective knowledge retention:
- Continuous productivity during periods of turnover. Current and new employees can easily access the knowledge they need to make daily decisions, minimizing the knowledge gap left by departing employees.
- Effective onboarding and retaining great talent. Robust knowledge management in large enterprises supports better onboarding. New employees onboard more effectively, which means they stick around longer because feel supported in their work from the start.
- An agile workforce for a competitive advantage. Critical knowledge stays with the organization, not the individual, leading to a competitive advantage instead of crippling effect.
3 ways to prevent knowledge loss due to employee turnover
Preventing knowledge loss can be more straightforward for smaller companies than enterprises with thousands of employees. When you have teams dispersed globally, knowledge retention has to be done on a larger scale.
Fortunately, you can leverage an insights platform to support knowledge transfer in your organization during employee turnover. Here are three ways to prevent knowledge loss due to worker turnover.
- Highlight subject matter experts and their unique knowledge.
When you build a culture of appreciation for employee knowledge, you reinforce the knowledge sharing culture that’s foundational to effective knowledge management and knowledge retention during periods of employee turnover.
One way of showing appreciation for employee knowledge is by giving subject matter experts a way to share their important insights with the organization. Knowledge management isn’t just about storing knowledge in one place so it doesn’t get lost. Knowledge retention is also about easily synthesizing insights, so your experts can share their unique knowledge—the kind of knowledge that often leaves in the heads of departing employees.
Recognizing subject matter experts in this way it also helps new and existing employees know who to go to with questions on certain subjects. This effectively preseres and promotes often informalized knowledge-sharing networks—networks new employees usually take years to build.
- Empower employees to collaborate and share knowledge in-person and remotely.
Hybrid work makes knowledge management and knowledge transfer even more crucial when it comes to preventing knowledge loss due to employee turnover. One way to prevent knowledge loss is to empower employees to collaborate virtually in one knowledge hub. This way, new team members can see the history of knowledge creation in your organization and dive into workflows quicker.
Advanced knowledge management and insights engagement platforms will integrate collaborative workspaces for storytelling and insights development, where experts and business users can engage with content, ask questions, and provide feedback.
Even more cutting-edge are insights platforms that integrate your knowledge repositories and collaboration tools. For example, Market Logic integrates with Microsoft Teams, so your teams can easily share insights directly into their messaging threads. Imagine the treasure trove of collaboration history for new hires, particularly in the age of remote work, when so much knowledge exists in siloed email threads.
- Make it easy for employees to store and search for knowledge.
In one study, seventy percent of survey respondents said knowledge loss would be reduced if workers could easily find and access information that’s relevant to them. Insights engagement platforms with AI-assisted search makes searching for organizational knowledge a breeze. Instead of spending hours scouring shared drives for project-related research, employees can self-service answers through the platforms main search bar.
Before your new employees can fill their knowledge gaps, current employees need to be able to upload documents without any extra effort. An insights platform with AI technology can eliminate the time-consuming work of manually classifying documents with auto-tagging, so your employees, consultants, and vendors can simply integrate knowledge retention into their workflows.
Automate knowledge retention and knowledge transfer with an insights engagement platform
A Market Logic insights engagement platform not only stores and organizes your knowledge in a search-friendly way, it also provides easy knowledge curation tools, so your employees can tell engaging stories that inform your organization and promote a single source of truth—that way, all your new, existing, and future employees are on the same page and your enterprise can quickly adapt to changes. Please reach out and request a demo of Market Logic’s platform.
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