IT Management Slideshow: How To Retain Knowledge When Top Tech Talent DepartsBy Dennis McCafferty | Posted 01-18-2011
Take inventory of the following:
1. The institutional memory of those who are, or soon will be, retiring.2. Special knowledge of products, services and/or customers from those who are leaving.3. Insight about work processes/workflow from these departing individuals.
âShadowingâ keeps valuable knowledge in-house
Designate which of your tech talent should spend extensive time with those departing staffers who know the most critical information.
Try routine job switching and job rotation
Let employees trade roles on a temporary basis to ensure cross training of process and performance functions.
Focus on the individual, not the job title
Those with highly valued knowledge may not be high up the ladder. Likewise, those who are best equipped to absorb such knowledge may be underutilized, lower-tier players.
Tech talent management is not leadership development
Tech talent management focuses on sharing knowledge rather than promoting people.
Retention starts with the job interview
Describe department goals, culture, and day-to-day practices honestly and clearly during interviews. This way, there are no "unpleasant surprises" after a new hire comes on board.
Ask job applicants to discuss their greatest professional accomplishment(s) to date, as well as what tech niches drive their passion.
This helps you determine whether their strongest projects and interests intersect with your department's needs.
Retention is the managers job
Make employee retention one of the criteria you use to evaluate managers. Tie decisions about salary increases to this criterion. Quantify expectations to managers so goals are clear and they can track their own progress throughout the year.