By Thom Herne – Relationship Manager
Losing a long-time staff member, whether it be to retirement, resignation or personal reasons, can be a big blow to any association. Few people understand your core processes and, more importantly, your members better than your longest-tenured teammates.
Fortunately, proper planning can help an association overcome these inevitable losses. Planning is especially important when it comes to business-critical items like your association management software (AMS). Why? Because people come and they go, and you don’t want your members and staff left high and dry when your top sources of AMS software knowledge leave the organization.
To help you avoid putting your association and AMS investment at risk, we’ve put together a list of three critical measures to make sure your associations maintains AMS software knowledge despite staff turnover.
3 Keys to AMS Software Knowledge Transfer
1 – Document Your Processes
When staff members work with a system long enough, business processes become second nature. Your team will know your AMS like the back of their hands. Unfortunately, this puts the AMS software knowledge in danger of being lost between staff changes.
To prevent knowledge loss, associations should document their business processes and procedures for working with the AMS. It may feel like a short-term bother, but the long-term benefit for your association is worth the extra effort.
Keep in mind, too, that processes aren’t static. Things change, especially as your AMS functionality gradually improves through effortless cloud upgrades. So even though your team documented processes two years ago, it’s worth doing again.
Here’s a bonus tip for associations: don’t delegate this documentation process to one employee or it will likely fall to the wayside as more immediate priorities mount. Instead, use a taskforce to help keep updates on track.
Unsure whether your association should commit time to documenting processes? According to research from video content management vendor Panopto, an organization with 50 staff can lose more than $120,000 in annual productivity due to delays in sharing knowledge.
2 – Cross-train Teams
At many trade and professional associations, each department has one person who fully understands and administers the department’s processes with the association management software. For instance, someone in the finance department knows the ins and outs of invoicing. Or, in the membership department, a single person may handle all the membership renewals.
While it’s great to have experts in each department, associations still need to cross-train teams of people to make sure more than one person know the process.
Through cross-training, associations can limit the risk associated with staff turnover. And considering the fact that 60 percent of millennials say they’re open to different job opportunities, according to a Gallup poll, we recommend limiting as much risk associated with staff turnover as possible.
3 – Ask Your AMS Partner for Assistance
In some situations, associations have plenty of time to make the transition seamless between outgoing and incoming staff members. That’s a great time to contact your AMS partner.
When a new employee joins the team, the AMS vendor can help put together a training program, much like the agenda used during AMS implementation. After all, as a strategic partner, we want your association and your new teammate to succeed.
By following the steps listed above, associations can ensure operations continue to run smoothly after staff departures. But if you’re still looking for help navigating a changing landscape at your association, watch the webinar, “Change Management: Why Your Employees Aren’t ‘Buying’ It.”