How to Mitigate Knowledge Loss Due to Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is inevitable. In fact, in the last five years, employee turnover has risen from 14.4 percent to 16.7 percent and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With the steady increase in turnover, organizations ought to be more concerned about knowledge loss, particularly when it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) procedures.
Man confused because nobody wrote down the BC/DR plan

Here are a couple things you can do to help mitigate the ever-present risk of knowledge loss.

Recruit the Expertise of a Vendor

You might think it’s more efficient and cost-effective to manage all of your BC/DR processes in-house with a dedicated director or team of employees. This is true to a certain extent. Having one employee or even a small team in charge of your BC/DR is beneficial in that these employees are familiar with your business’s culture and processes as well as BC/DR best practices, which allows them to create a highly targeted BC/DR program. But what happens if any of those employees are unavailable during a business interruption or disaster? Or if one of the employees leaves the business? One of the ways to combat this risk is to outsource your BC/DR to a third party.

If you work with a vendor for BC/DR consulting and solutions, you can help reduce the impact of knowledge loss when employees leave your company. Because your vendor is immersed in the BC/DR industry on a daily basis, you don’t have to rehire or retrain a dedicated BC/DR staff member. While the vendor won’t be as intimately familiar with your internal processes as employees are, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to BC/DR, an objective third-party perspective can help you identify interdependencies or inefficient processes you didn’t realize existed.

In addition to helping prevent knowledge loss, you don’t have to worry about a vendor’s support being interrupted by the same power outage, natural disaster or cyber threat that’s affecting your business.

Document All Plans and Processes

Regardless of whether you keep your BC/DR in-house or outsource to a third party, documentation is critical. For one, your employees need to know what to do in case of a business interruption. If they’re in the dark about their roles in the recovery process, that will directly impact your recovery times. Ensure that all key employees — not just those responsible for the BC/DR program — have reviewed the documents and know where to access them.

If you’re outsourcing any aspect of your recovery process, documenting the recovery process eliminates any confusion about which parties are responsible for executing key recovery steps. Don’t forget to update your documentation any time your business experiences changes in objectives, technology or strategies. It’s crucial to keep an updated plan available so you don’t encounter gaps in your BC/DR program.

Employee attrition might be rising, but just because an employee leaves your business doesn’t have to mean your BC/DR effectiveness leaves with them.

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