How long can your organisation continue to deliver the same standard of products and services without your skills and knowledge or those of your key employees? How damaging would it be if an employee left to work for a competitor?
Protect your competitive advantage, including customer and supplier information, by including clauses in all employee contracts requiring confidentiality to be maintained and ensuring that ownership of the intellectual property developed while employed remains with the organisation. Suppliers and customers might also be required to sign confidentiality and intellectual property agreements as appropriate.
While a culture of trust is important, only those who need to use business critical information for their role should have access to it. Be careful about access into your premises and what you leave in public spaces such as on whiteboards, desks and computer screens. Lock physical files and offices, use appropriate password protections and limit who is being copied into emails.
Develop a succession plan for key roles, including your own. Document all important processes and formulae so that successors can easily follow them to deliver the same result. Identify people that have the potential and desire to step into roles should the current incumbent leave and set a training plan in place to equip them.
Embed physical and emotional health in your workplace culture. Foster loyalty by inspiring your team to achieve the organisation’s vision and by providing opportunities for professional and personal goals to be met. Your leadership in ensuring organisational survival is vital.
This article was first published in the Mercury Bay Informer of 1 May 2019. See www.theinformer.co.nz