As economies grow and employee roles diversify, employee retention continues to be one of the most difficult challenges companies face. With knowledge workers having monopoly over information they have accumulated over the months and years, companies struggle to ensure continuity in operations every time employees leave, bringing with them a wealth of information which cannot be replenished overnight. Therefore collaboration systems, such as Sharepoint, are becoming essential tools for companies to ensure that there is nobody within the organization who has pure control of any information (aside from the system administrators, of course) while promoting information sharing and productive exchanges.
But how can collaboration tools promote smooth transition in high turn-over companies?
1. Central storage for documentation across the organization
Before even considering storage for documentation, it is important for organizations to establish a system to properly document processes and projects. Without such a system, employees tend to do their work on “auto-pilot”. This means they can deliver tasks based on a process they innately know or even developed on their own, without referring to a document or a formal procedure. Having a system for documentation and strictly following such system makes processes fool proof, not relying on a singular employee for operations. Sharepoint comes in as the “storage” for these process documents, centrally shared within the organization. Thus, it is important to formally include in the “steps” to properly label and store these documents in Sharepoint. Organizations must also keep in mind that a good technology will remain to be irrelevant and useless not unless the users are convinced this will be useful for productivity. If the employees see the central storage and documentation processes as an “addition” to their work, without any sense of reward or benefit from the process, Sharepoint will be just another wasted investment. So, employees must see this system as supported or sponsored from the top of the organization, keeping in mind that the objective of management is to protect the operations from breakdown by depending on single point persons within any department.
2. Security and access controls at both personal and admin levels
Sharepoint allows document security to be set at the personal level, allowing employees to select who they share crucial work information with. But, the part that saves the organization from breaking down when employees come and go is the admin access which can override personal settings. System admins have the capacity to salvage lost files from back-up and recovery systems within Sharepoint and through third-party applications integrated with Sharepoint. For small- to medium-sized enterprises who do not have the capacity to set-up, customize, and maintain Sharepoint internally, there are IT Companies in Australia that can support your custom needs. The challenge is to clarify the needs from within the organization and ensure this is communicated with the Sharepoint administrator.
3. Seamless Microsoft Office workspace for easy training, even for the technology-migrants within the organization.
People who leave the organization are not just the young professionals who are seeking opportunities outside the company. Often unnoticed, the more senior executives and members of the workforce who are either retiring or even just taking long vacation leaves are impacting operations more than their younger counterparts. Technically, retention is not the issue among older users of the system. It is the ease of use that can be problematic for them. Sharepoint’s fluid interface with Microsoft applications – the Office applications which our more senior executives are more used to – makes it so much easier for them to use the system to do their work daily. The more these executives use Sharepoint as their “central” work station, the easier it is to transfer their knowledge to their younger successors, teammates, and counterparts at work.
It’s a primary responsibility of employees to deliver results based on their scope of work and commitments. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of management to put in place systems which ensure almost infallible operations, not relying on singular entities or point persons.