Great work comes from great people! Conversely, this means that the added value of a company and its products depends directly on the efforts and performance of its employees. That’s why many companies focus on attracting new talent and successfully onboarding them – so that they can quickly contribute to the company’s success.
But what happens when a colleague decides to leave your company? Since saying goodbye to valued employees is generally associated with less pleasant emotions than welcoming new colleagues, we tend to hear and read much less about the importance of successful offboarding than about its counterpart.
And that is a big mistake! Because in the case of an employee’s departure, not only does an important team member leave the company – but so does their knowledge and know-how! And this is exactly what the remaining team needs in order to continue working successfully.
If information has not been communicated and important experiences have not been recorded when a colleague was offboarded, he or she will be missing as an important contact person after leaving. And once these colleagues can no longer be contacted, their expert knowledge can no longer be reconstructed.
What’s more: The way in which your employees leave your company always determines the public standing of your organization.
How does offboarding affect my reputation as an employer?
On portals such as Kununu, Glassdoor or LinkedIn, employees and former employees leave testimonials and reviews about their employers, which are then publicly accessible. This helps potential candidates and applicants to find out more about you and your company.
A study has shown that 52 percent of people searching for a job use social media to learn about their future workplace. And your former employees in particular act as important brand ambassadors there. Especially when they are no longer part of your company, the psychological barrier for an open and possibly negative evaluation is much lower. Apart from the mutual respect that should always be shown in an employment relationship, you definitely don’t want to part on bad terms with your employees. Therefore, it is advantageous to not only make the most of your employees active working hours, but also to structure the offboarding process in such a way that it is positive for both sides. Avoid negative ratings by showing your employees the appreciation they deserve – not just when they’ve decided to leave, but throughout their entire time in your company. After all, they are the ones who drive your business forward thanks to their knowledge and experience.
And that is the reason why you should do everything within your power to capture this know-how and make it available to everyone – so that you and your colleagues can benefit from it even after the offboarding of valued team members.
How do I keep the knowledge in the company during the offboarding process?
Once a colleague is gone, he’s gone. Whether it is because of a new job, retirement or maternity leave, he or she won’t have time for queries. So everything important has to be clarified beforehand. And as with all processes in your company, a structured approach is also and especially important for your offboardings.
With our 4 most important tips for successful offboardings, you will not only enable your employees to share their knowledge within the company, but also to benefit from the know-how of their colleagues at any time.
Tip #1: Document knowledge early and continuously
One of the most important aspects of a successful offboarding program is timing. If a colleague’s departure has already been decided and communicated, it is usually too late to pull the right levers. Instead, encourage your experts of all departments to document and share their knowledge on a daily basis – not just when they are about to leave. This approach ensures that information is shared when it’s most relevant – which is when your employees are dealing with specific issues at hand. That might be a technical problem, for example, the solution of which is worked out once and then made available to everyone thanks to the documentation in picture or written form.
If you want to avoid the chaos of scattered documents and individual email communications, it helps to provide a software solution that is made for the very purpose of easy and fast knowledge transfer – just like SlidePresenter. This way, your employees will always know how to record their experiences and where to look in a moment of need. While complicated processes or user interfaces can quickly frustrate their users and lead to understandable rejection, a smart and intuitive solution can help knowledge documentation become a natural part of your employee’s work routine.
Tip #2: Provide learning paths for new employees
Learning paths are thematic routes that structure your employees’ training and development. The learning content is provided, for example, in a series of short, sequenced training videos that guide new colleagues through important processes in your company or provide important key information for their specific job.
But because managers or L&D experts usually don’t have the resources they would need to define each employee’s individual learning path, every employee can easily do it themselves – when provided with easy-to-use and secure tools and technologies. New colleagues can then conveniently learn from their forerunners and follow the learning modules that have already proven their added value in practice.
Tip #3: Enable global and mobile knowledge transfer
In larger companies, employees may change or expand their area of responsibility and, for example, be assigned tasks from colleagues of another location. The transfer of the required knowledge can often not be satisfactorily managed with classroom training. These are time-consuming and expensive as well as organizationally complex, since they must first be integrated into the already increasing workload of the person concerned. Furthermore, individual knowledge needs are often not extensive enough for a stand-alone training or the potential group of recipients is too small.
Of course, we have a solution for this as well: So-called learning nuggets – learning content prepared in short that can be quickly grasped and easily digested – make knowledge available in a form that can be consumed anytime and anywhere. Such nuggets are particularly useful and effective for decentralized teams or departments because they can be used according to individual needs. When accessible on-demand, your employees are not dependent on fixed-schedule learning units and can engage with the content right in their moments of need – when they are searching for a quick solution for example. One way you can make it even easier and more convenient for your employees is to make your learning nuggets available for mobile devices. In this manner, even the waiting time at the train station can be filled with small learning units, which makes corporate knowledge transfer a perfectly flexible and individual matter.
Tip #4: Establish a reliable platform for knowledge exchange
It’s a loss when a retiring employee has taken the trouble to document their knowledge – but you don’t know where. That’s why it’s important to have a central platform so that everyone knows where to look for information. Ask yourself how you can archive created content in a meaningful way and make it accessible in order to benefit from it company-wide and in the long run. In addition, be aware that this is usually internal company information: The protection of your data as well as the data of your employees must therefore never be disregarded.
Of course, the added value of such a knowledge collection does not end with the topic of offboarding: Your solution should definitely include other subjects, such as onboarding, best practices and important project information. You can make this content available to your employees via your intranet, a collaboration tool, a learning management system or via your specially set-up SlidePresenter video platform.
Our tip on top: Videos are the key to success
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what does that mean for videos? That’s right! It makes them the perfect format for communicating knowledge quickly and easily. Studies have shown that the combination of image and sound achieves the best learning results because it appeals to different types of learners. That’s where SlidePresenter comes in: the leading enterprise video platform for employee-generated content.
SlidePresenter empowers you and your colleagues to turn your knowledge into engaging video nuggets – in less than four minutes! Combine them with your existing content (for example PowerPoint slides or screen recordings) and even with quizzes, links and subtitles to make your knowledge transfer multimedia-based and successful. Through easy integration into your intranet, LMS or your own video platform, your SlidePresenter content is available everywhere and to everyone. And with our servers located in Germany, the security of your data is guaranteed.
You want to make your offboardings successful and preserve your employees’ wealth of knowledge? Try SlidePresenter for free! No fees. No risks. No loss of knowledge.