4 Times You Really Need Knowledge Transfer

Granted it’s jargon and a buzzword, but “knowledge transfer” is exactly what it sounds like and a necessity for every type of business. As an employee, there’s one sure way to make yourself indispensable: Be the sole person in the company who has knowledge in a niche, whether it’s with billing, the grants process, software, and the like. However, transferring knowledge when an employee leaves or gets promoted can save an incredibly amount of time, trouble and money for the company. Luckily, there’s software and automation programs to make it easier.

However, as a business owner, how do you know when knowledge transfer is in order? Are there some aspects of business and job descriptions where you should be able to assume the new hire is already knowledgeable? It depends. Here are some key times knowledge transfer is in order:

1. When any kind of software is involved

Even “basic” software like Microsoft Office can be drastically different depending on versions. There are so many opinions over the “best” version of Office that The Guardian has posted an entire guideline on it. Knowledge transfer becomes even more critical the more niche the software is. Any software that’s very expensive, such as Raiser’s Edge, or specific to a company of course requires training and transfer. Otherwise, you can’t expect optimal performance from the employee.

2. When the SOP is subpar

Let’s face it: You know you should have great standard operating procedures in place and updated, but that’s unlikely. There are many guidelines out there, such as Chron’s easy to adapt approach, and it’s never too late to update your SOP. However, you can’t count on it alone. Consider it a tool for knowledge transfer, but it can’t take the place of proper training.

3. When it’s a new hire and not a promotion

It’s a lot easier to transition a current employee into a new role since they’re already acquainted with the office and many procedures. When you bring a brand new person on board, they’re going to be in culture shock. Both types of employees need knowledge transfer, but the latter camp has especially high need.

4. When your numbers are falling

Revenues and profits will fluctuate slightly, but if you notice a particularly painful dip, action is needed. This might be a sign that a recent change didn’t include knowledge transfer.

Knowledge transfer is a holistic approach that includes training and automation at times, but that’s not exhaustive. Give your employees whatever support they need to achieve their best work.