In each organization, there are ‘go-to’ people. You probably know some as well. They are the people who you can turn to with a specific case, an issue or a problem. You just know that they will be able to give you the quickest and most effective answer. For example, that colleague you turn to when something is wrong with your computer, or the colleague who can tell you where to find the information you’re looking for in the blink of an eye…
These are the people who have gathered a lot of knowledge and experience in certain topics. Maybe because they once were the first and had to find out everything by themselves. Or because they followed a specific training, or they had access to unique learning resources. Another reason might be that people keep returning to them with related problems. Therefore, their knowledge and experience keeps broadening and deepening.
What happens when they leave?
But what happens when those people leave the company? They might quit, switch jobs, retire… Does this mean that from then on, you’re left to your own devices? Unfortunately, when the organization does nothing to grasp the knowledge this person has, or when the organization is too late to act, this knowledge will be lost.
This is why we strongly recommend knowledge sharing and having at least two people with the same knowledge within your company. However, there can be specific occurrences which make a person more knowledgeable. In that case, it is important to find out a way to capture this knowledge in time, so it can be kept within the organization.
How do we keep this knowledge within the organization?
Due to our expertise in learning consultancy, we have worked closely with several learning & development departments to find the best method that fits the organization’s needs.
Ideally, we are asked to make an analysis before someone leaves. We have developed techniques to capture relevant knowledge in a very systematic way, using interviews, questionnaires, focus groups… Of course, once the knowledge is captured, one question arises: “What to do with all this knowledge?”. Our experience has taught us that there are several options to store this information and to make it available to those groups of people who will eventually need it to successfully and efficiently do their jobs. Because of our affiliation with digitisation, we often have various digital ways in mind to easily distribute this knowledge to the right people.
Sometimes, this means a change in the way the organization works. In that case, we can provide teasers to raise awareness. It is very important to thoroughly explain the new way of working and how it will affect the other members of the organization, to keep everyone rowing in the same direction.
It would be a pity to lose knowledge your company already obtained at some point in time. If, by the end of this blog, you’ve realised that there are several ‘go-to’ people in your organization and that their knowledge has not been captured yet, you can always contact us for some advice or help in doing so.