South African Tourism is a statutory body whose main object is to promote tourism to and within South Africa, by marketing the country as…
When it comes to staff members, nothing is predictable. The fact is, employees will retire, emigrate, start families and seek greener pastures.
Unfortunately, you may not always be prepared for these changes, but you can safeguard your organisational memory and limit the negative effects of its loss in your business.
Not many organisations understand the full expense of employee turnover. In fact, the price of organisational memory loss (OML) due to staff departing, can be equivalent to anywhere from one month, to several years’ salary of an employee. And so, it’s essential for a company to try and mitigate such losses — but how?
To start, what exactly is organisational memory?
In the widest sense, it’s the ability of a person to acquire, retain and retrieve knowledge in a work environment. This includes the combined ability of staff members to use appropriate knowledge and information at a certain level of skill. Put simply it’s the collective experience and understanding of employees of how the business works.
Picture, for example, an executive assistant who has been with a business for 20 years. He or she has been using different versions of archives, electronic databases, filing systems, indexing and data capturing methods over the years, as the business evolved.
The assistant has a bank of knowledge that has been acquired by functional, context-specific, first-hand experience – which cannot be learned from a textbook or a training course.
So, what is organisational memory loss?
It’s when someone such as the above-mentioned executive assistant eventually decides to retire – taking with them their years of knowledge and experience of how parts of the business are run.
And so, OML can actually damage a company’s competitive edge because expensively acquired experience is lost overnight. Perhaps more impactful is the fact that the company has to relearn or reteach existing processes — at a further cost.
Unfortunately, staff churn is sometimes unavoidable. Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to safeguard procedures and processes in the business against OML – particularly within the administrative space.
How to minimise the impact of OML
Efficient document management can protects your business’ processes from OML.
Outsourcing records management to a professional third party means there will be someone to help you every step of the way when it comes to protecting and retrieving important files — which will go a long way in limiting the effect of staff turnover on the central administrative functions of your business.
A professional company will assist you with the design and development of a unique classification system and tailored document management solutions to ensure ongoing effectiveness in your business.
So, make sure you’re in a position to curb institutional brain drain by making that call today! Because in the end organisational memory is too important to be forgotten.
The article was sponsored by The Document Warehouse.