It’s unfortunate, but sooner or later, it’s bound to happen. Every company experiences “brain drain” when a key subject matter expert leaves the company.
Often when an employee hands in notice, a mad rush follows in the hopes of hiring and training a replacement before the expert’s last day at the office. Unfortunately, there is typically never enough time for the incoming recruit to learn what he or she needs to know from the departing employee.
Managers are in a tough spot – a hasty hiring decision can lead to choosing the wrong person for the job. On the other hand, delaying the replacement hire could result in precious knowledge walking out the door with the departing employee.
Most organizations opt for mitigation – trying to capture as much of the employee’s institutional knowledge as possible before he or she leaves the company (some refer to this as offboarding).
Written documentation, such as a Wiki, is common, but the resulting pages upon pages of text and screenshots are too often more confusing than helpful – especially in technical fields or in cases where the author’s writing skills are less than perfect.
Video provides a faster, more efficient way of solving the brain drain problem.
With just an iPhone, a departing employee can quickly and easily record a series of short videos for his or her replacement to refer to. And with a laptop and its onboard camera (or an inexpensive webcam), your employee can capture the contents of his or her screen to demonstrate software, display a presentation, explain diagrams, and more.
Uploading these videos to your company’s video content management system (VCMS) enables any new employees and remaining team members to learn at their own pace, and review the videos on-demand from any device when needed. Panopto customers can even quickly access the information they need by searching through an entire video library for a specific word or phrase, then fast forward to that exact point in the recording.
Our own 2-weeks-notice experience.
When John Ketchpaw, a long-time member of our engineering team, decided to pursue his next professional adventure, we had three weeks to capture everything he knew. During that time, he recorded over ten hours of one-on-one meetings, screen recordings, and group meetings. The result was a seamless onboarding experience for our new hire, Bertrand Lee, and a repository of information that the rest of our engineers could refer to as they built upon John’s work.
To learn more about how we used video to capture knowledge and onboard a new employee, check out the video below.