The global workforce is not only facing aging problem, another issue is retaining the younger generation like Gen Y and the millennials. Generally, this group of young talents leaves an organization or position is not because of loyalty. With today’s social media, the new generation can lay hands on tons of relevant information easily, irrespective of experience or positions. Thus, the ability to collect, understand, and respond to the information in real time often trumps experience. They usually are dissatisfied with the status quo. Hence, they will most likely to proceed and pick up other challenges.
Most of the bosses, especially in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) play the role of a manager, a mentor, and a teacher cum buddy to the new employees. These efforts will dampen when the staff leaves. I often hear a lot of complaints from bosses, saying that these employees are always leaving after they have learned everything!
So, here are two most common questions to ask.
Firstly, how and what to do to avoid repeating the same thing over and over again, without missing a procedures or important workflow?
Secondly, how to handle a job and retain the skills or working methodology of the experienced staff?
The most effective way is still the transfer of knowledge through succession planning via writing down the work experiences and processes.
- Retain knowledge and skills by writing down
Writing down your business processes gives the company the advantage of transferring the firsthand knowledge from one person to another, because it records down every single process in the company. From research, teaching a new employee by using Standard Operating Procedure (“SOP”), is still the most effective and efficient method. It shortens the new staff’s learning period. SOP also reduces system variation and it acts as a reference for trainees.
- Improving procedures help to retain talent
Although SOP facilitates training, continuous improvement on the working process is also important for greater productivity. This importance might be overlooked by the senior managers as they might start to stay in their comfort zone. In today’s business environment, the young talents are constantly seeking opportunities for self-achievement. Here is an idea, give them the SOP and encourage them to make a difference by giving them the support to initiate and implement the changes that will truly sink into their engagement. With the reinforcement from the management, these young talents with full of energetic efforts, can be coached and they will support each other to complete the daily tasks in a motivated manner, which ultimately will benefit the organization.
Jessica Tan (SOP expert) helps companies increase their efficiency and profitability by creating process approach management system and user-based procedure. She has been the business process and performance development partner for SMEs as well as multi-national corporations in the Asia Pacific region, including Vietnam and China. Jessica has more than 15 years’ experience in solving management system, which includes improving work efficiency through process mapping, reengineering, and creating unique operation strategies.