Many companies don’t have knowledge transfer systems. This means that they lose valuable information when an employee quits or retires. It also means that the company leadership (often the business owner) has to be the brains of the operation forever, without the ability to step down or even go on vacation.
With so many employees working remotely, effective knowledge transfer and data retention systems within your company are more vital than ever.
Three Characteristics of a Good Knowledge Transfer System
Whether your staff is working from home or working in-office, your knowledge transfer system needs three characteristics. These are:
Anyone who needs to access the system should be able to find what they are looking for easily.
The system must be laid out in a navigable way, and the information in the system should be presented so that it makes sense.
3. Room for expansion
As your business grows, so will the vital information necessary to its operations. A good knowledge transfer system is not stagnant but instead advances with your company to incorporate new systems and processes.
How to Build Your Knowledge Transfer System
Your company may have an existing system of binders, folders, or computer files that contain basic processes and policies. These repositories may also have important “how-to” information for various jobs and tasks throughout the company.
The first thing to do is to gather the existing information and ensure that it is up-to-date. Some of it may be old or no longer how you do business. That information can be archived.
Once you have an idea of the knowledge that your employees, leads, and management team has preserved, follow these steps:
1. Decide where the knowledge will “live” so that every one of your employees can access the knowledge needed to do their job.
Additionally, make sure you have a searchable naming convention established from the outset so that it can be easily found.
2. Decide how you want that knowledge to be communicated. Some information may be best delivered through video or screenshots, while other data should be provided through checklists or write-ups from the person holding a particular job title.
3. Note what information is missing.
4. Get your team on board with filling in all of the holes. You cannot fill in every aspect of your company knowledge database on your own – nor should you. It is vital to delegate the collection of information to those who know best about how the company executes specific operations.
5. Have your teams collect any processes and policies which pertain to their job, format that information, and preserve it in your knowledge repository.
6. Have your teams document their everyday tasks, along with how they perform those tasks.
7. Preserve that information in the knowledge repository.
8. Review the result. Are there any additional holes that should be filled?
9. Perform a yearly review of this knowledge transfer system. Make sure there are no new holes and ensure the information is up-to-date.
Creating an effective knowledge transfer system is a lot of work. However, preserving the knowledge on which your business is built is essential to the overall success and continuity.
Are you ready to build an effective knowledge transfer system for all employees? Contact Business Success Consulting Group today for your free initial business consultation.