In an ideal world, your employees will never love and leave you, but will stay in your company until the very end. But, owing to industry competitiveness, scarce skills and the quest to keep climbing the career ladder, you can’t bank on your employees staying. You must then take the steps to secure your data.
As all employees in your organisation contribute towards your operations and processes and, overall, profitability, each and every one of them host knowledge that is important to ensure the efficient day-to-day operation of your organisation. Some employees even host critical knowledge which, if not transferred, could cause major loss of productivity and efficiency when that employee walks out the door.
Below are crucial basic practices that need to be implemented to ensure that, should employees be unable to come to the office or decide to leave for good, your data is safe, secure and accessible:
1. Implement IT standards and procedures
A critical, and yet often underestimated, factor to retaining data is enforcing rules obliging staff members to store all company-related information centrally, not locally.
When employees decide to leave without notice, fall ill for long periods of time or lose their laptops due to damage or theft, productivity and efficiency should not be affected. Therefore, all data should be kept safe, secure and accessible, to those permitted, at all times.
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2. Ensure best-of-breed HR practices
Cross skilling should form part of an organisation’s culture and should strictly be enforced by HR to ensure that individuals do not work in isolation but are learning from each other and can fill in where needed.
Job shadowing is another great method to ensure that junior staff learn from seniors with constant exposure to their abilities, thereby, enabling them to upskill and assume responsibility for certain tasks when needed.
Lastly, mentoring and coaching should form part of each team’s day-to-day operations. Senior staff need to consistently mentor and guide their team members and should, therefore, be approachable and skilled at nurturing and educating.
3. Document processes, procedure and training
All processes, procedures, skills and training should be documented. As an example:
- Sales – sales system – leads / notes per client / follow ups / risk / issues
- Development – Backlogs / notes / time estimates – all recorded in a system
Documentation is vital and practices should be implemented to ensure that it is kept updated and relevant and forms part of each employee’s daily job description.
4. Ensure adequate handovers
When the inevitable happens and an employee resigns, an adequate handover process can ensure that all data, skills and processes regarding that specific role is transferred.
Related: Three ways to coach – not criticise – employees
While it is impossible to ensure that all knowledge regarding a specific role is transferred, a handover list comprising specific categories, tasks and functions should be designed with each item ticked off at the end of the handover period to ensure that the most important information was handed over.
Implementing IT best practices that promote and ensure consistent documentation and adequate handover processes will ensure that organisations retain data in-house, and enable smooth handover processes, thereby, guarding them against a loss of productivity and efficiency.