• WisBusiness

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Employees will leave with economy improvement, taking company knowledge with them


By Noel Eggebraaten
According to recent Manpower statistics, “80% of employers are anticipating less than 5% voluntary turnover as the economy improves. However, 60% of employees said they are planning to leave their employer in 2010 if the economy improves.” This startling statistic was addressed at the Roundtable Discussion held on June 24, 2010 in Eau Claire, WI.

Why are employees leaving?

* Management/leadership issues such as poor communication and insensitivity to employee needs.

* Companies are not sharing the status with employees on how the company is performing and what the future of the business looks like.

These two areas of employee concern fall into the category of lack of perceived truth and honesty from their employer, consequentially impacting negatively on employee – employer relations.

How to retain employees with a knowledge base

* Host meetings to educate employees on what is happening with the company.

* Quarterly meetings can include project updates, new customers, financials, profitability and goals for the organization to reach in the next month/quarter/year.

Providing information on the status of the business, good or bad, increases understanding, creates opportunities to problem solve and improves trust at all levels of the company.

As companies have had to implement salary cuts or reduced hours, there are still opportunities for “Star Employees” to earn incentives – i.e. a project manager who managed a client account to profitability; or a company hitting a goal for the quarter where the employees, as a team, receive an individual profit-sharing incentive. It is critical to maintain the “Stars” of the company.

As companies laid employees off over the last 18 months – the employees who remain have become more valuable. Many of them were chosen to remain because of their capacity to learn and because they were cross-trained, thereby increasing their knowledge base. While it can be frustrating for employees to be asked to do more with less – it is important to focus more on the opportunity that is in front of them. They have an opportunity to learn new skills and to build on their experiences to expand their resume.

It is worth noting that 90% of workers decide within 6 months if they want to stay with a company. Some of that decision is based on career path opportunities, mentoring, and skill development to increase their success.

How to transfer knowledge

* Formalize mentorship relationships between employees to safeguard critical knowledge beyond a single person.

* Offer lunch and learn sessions.

The employee wins and the company wins.

A solid knowledge retention and transfer strategy ensures a company retaining its business knowledge and competitive advantage - even as employees change positions or leave the company. One of the keys to success is implementing tactics during each phase of the employee life cycle, from attract/recruit and onboard to retain and promote/exit.

Visit http://www.us.manpower.com/knowledgeretention to complete the online quiz for results for your company.

-- Eggebraaten is president of Momentum West. For more discussion about Knowledge Retention & Transfer strategies contact Noel Eggebraaten or Louise Bentley at Momentum West at 715-874-4673 or email info@momentumwest.org.

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