Granted its jargon and a buzzword, but knowledge transfer is exactly what it sounds like and a necessity for every type of business. As an employee, theres one sure way to make yourself indispensable: Be the sole person in the company who has knowledge in a niche, whether its 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, theres 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 thats very expensive, such as Raisers Edge, or specific to a company of course requires training and transfer. Otherwise, you cant expect optimal performance from the employee.
2. When the SOP is subpar
Lets face it: You know you should have great standard operating procedures in place and updated, but thats unlikely. There are many guidelines out there, such as Chrons easy to adapt approach, and its never too late to update your SOP. However, you cant count on it alone. Consider it a tool for knowledge transfer, but it cant take the place of proper training.
3. When its a new hire and not a promotion
Its a lot easier to transition a current employee into a new role since theyre already acquainted with the office and many procedures. When you bring a brand new person on board, theyre 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 didnt include knowledge transfer.
Knowledge transfer is a holistic approach that includes training and automation at times, but thats not exhaustive. Give your employees whatever support they need to achieve their best work.