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Monday, January 20, 2014

Accumulated Knowledge: Can Technology Help When People Leave Your Business?

As a recruiter for a temporary staffing company I saw this situation happen frequently: a key member of a small business team would leave their job unexpectedly and the rest of the team would need to scramble to figure out all of the processes they used and the knowledge they took with them.

Image by Victor1558 via Flickr
Of course, it was our job to help them find a replacement that was capable of hitting the ground running and figure out the missing pieces. 

Have you ever thought about how you would handle this if it happened in your company? 

The right technology can be the key to making unexpected transitions happen as smoothly as possible. 

One essential aspect to temporary staffing and using our in-house data base was documentation. Every time someone in operations took an action we were required to enter that information into our system. This minimized mistakes made when a different recruiter needed to deal with a situation. All of the information they needed would be in the system right at their fingertips. This worked well even while we were working together but also helped as I trained my replacement and left the organization. 

There are three primary components to this solution: the right technology, organized systems, and a standardized workflow. Let's look at them each in more detail. 


  • The right technology. It is extremely important that all of the knowledge for the operations of a company not be stored only within someone's brain. Technology can be the right solution. It could be a database, an ERP, a workforce management system, or any number of other resources. The choice of which system to use for your business will depend largely on what your business does and how the technology can assist your staff to do their own job without becoming a burden.
  •  Organized systems. Once you have the technology in place, your staff needs to understand the best way to use it. Create policies that govern how they interact with the system. Provide extensive training on how these systems work within your company. What do they enter and when, how does it help them in their job day to day, and to whom are they accountable? Without this level of organization the system will quickly disintegrate.
  •  Standardized workflow. The third key piece to this structure is to make sure that each member of your team work within a standardized workflow for their specific job. If your accountant is the only person in the company with knowledge of financial matters the results could be devastating if they leave. Instead, work with each staff member to understand how they contribute day to day and create a list of procedures to accomplish their daily tasks. This way, if someone leaves the company or is out for an emergency, another staff member can step in and follow the procedure to complete this part of the process until the person returns or a replacement is hired. 

NextCrew wants to partner with you to make your company as successful as possible. Consider working with a workforce management system to streamline your staffing process and be prepared for all eventual situations. Contact us today!

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