The Streamlined Business Blog

Avoiding “Brain Drain” When Star Performers Leave

employee-knowledge-retention-imageIn an previous post Do “Unwritten Rules” Undermine Your Business?, The Good Business Systems squad warned about the dangers of operating your business with “unwritten rules.” This question from the May issue of St. Louis Small Business Monthly highlights more of the dangers. What happens when star performers leave and take their “unwritten” knowledge out the door with them?

“My biggest all-star employee just left the company to work for a competitor. He was efficient, virtually mistake-free and energetic. When he left, he took with him a bunch of unwritten knowledge about how he did his job. I now have a couple of people that are similar in background and knowledge, but they just can’t match what this person was able to do. Besides working on my employee retention, how can I get access to the hidden or tribal knowledge that people like this all-star have? What is a way that I can document the habits that separate all-stars from bench warmers?”

– Missing My All-Star, Maryland Heights Business Owner

If you are still relying on word-of-mouth training and tribal knowledge you are putting your business at risk.

The very best way to retain the knowledge of star performers is to capture that unique knowledge as part of your company’s operations manual and standardized procedures. By writing policies and procedures that clearly explain your unique business system and contain the unique details that only your All Star performers understand you can prevent costly “brain drain” and also improve your corporate training effectiveness.

Don’t wait until a star performer leaves and you are left with a big knowledge gap to overcome. COMPROSE Zavanta software is designed specifically to make it easy for your “All Star” Subject Matter Experts to capture their special knowledge and share it with others through effective policies and procedures. It provides all the tools necessary for writing policies and procedures that others will read and use.

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