How Startups Handle Turnover

It doesn’t matter how small, fresh or exciting your business may be: The people you initially hire won’t be there until the very end. They probably won’t even be there for longer than a few years given the “temporary mindset” many people have about their careers these days. However, it’s how startups handle turnover that can either help the company forge ahead or get them stuck on a plateau. Part of your business plan should include steps to take when an employee moves on (whether by choice or not).

The transfer of knowledge is key and something many companies overlook. In an ideal world, the employee who’s leaving gives advance notice and is available to train their successor. Of course, this is rarely the case. Ask all employees to create their own evolving standard operating procedures (SOPs) for their job. This should be part of their daily tasks and it’s the best tool to help train a new member. Here’s how to manage your turnover so you’re not left in the dust.

Prioritize documentation

It’s a savvy employee who knows he’s the only one who can do his job; that’s job security at its finest. As an employer, you need to make sure this isn’t the case. In addition to requiring every worker to create their own SOP, you also need to review them for any holes. A quarterly review can get the job done, and you can even ask employees to check each other’s work (just like in school) to ensure they’re as comprehensive as possible.

Proper analysis and filing of your documents is a big part of success, so take this opportunity to move deeper into the cloud realm. A well-managed cloud center where all work documentation is stored (and can only be deleted by key members) leaves a paper trail that can’t get lost or destroyed. The moment a person leave the company, make sure their access to the cloud is blocked.

Constant training

Well before there’s any hint of an employee leaving, you should have routine training in place. Anyone can get complacent or lazy about their job. A refresher course for everyone is a good idea, plus there’s no telling what a person missed during their initial training. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to have department-specific trainings as well as general trainings.

Most importantly, have an exit strategy in place for when an employee leaves or they need to be let go. This isn’t a time for winging it.

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