How to reduce the risks and costs of changes in your teams
High staff turnover is a major cost and drain on an organisation. Apart from the costs associated with recruiting and replacing an individual, a major cost (which is often under-estimated) is the loss of knowledge, expertise, insights and relationships.
This becomes a real problem when an experienced individual retires, takes redundancy or leaves for another job. When they go they take their relationship and everything that is “up top” in their head, and which has often not been captured. This creates a relationship gap and a knowledge vacuum it is difficult to fill. This reduces the effectiveness of your people, your team and your organization.
So how do we maintain key relationships and capture this intangible knowledge, insights and expertise?
Don’t become reliant on a single person for a key relationship. Look to include other people who can develop and build their own relationships with your clients, suppliers, third parties etcetera – this provides continuity as and when people leave. This takes time, so you need to do it well in advance of the need for it occurring (i.e. people leaving and/or your becoming reliant on certain people internally).
Knowledge and Expertise
Treat knowledge management as an on-going project that is part of what every project team does. Create an environment where team members are encouraged to share ideas, experiences and learnings and document this on an on-going basis. Formalizing a knowledge transfer system, including helping people learn from those more experienced as part of their personal development plan. Doing this allows you to:
- Improve your team’s knowledge, capabilities and capacity
- Become more flexible and insightful in running and managing the project
- Build a more robust and resilient team which is less at risk when key people leave
- Maintain and improve your ability to deliver on schedule, within budget and to accepted quality standards.
So, what are you going to do to anticipate where and how you need to build relationships for the future; and what do you need to do to build, retain and leverage your team’s knowledge and expertise? Share here the one action you will take, right now, to address this.
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