Creating a Smooth Transition After a Key Employee Moves On

Pre-empt the need to document jobs only on departure

key employee
(Image: iStock.com/ skynesher)

Kim had been with LogicPrep from the very beginning—when there were just four of us working out of one room. Since joining in 2011, she helped us grow from four to 25 employees, coordinate the move to our current office (she and her husband literally carried furniture and hung our sign), and consistently increased annual revenue by 30% year over year.

She really did it all. And, well, that was the problem.

When Kim announced that she’d be moving across the country in two weeks with her husband, who got an amazing new job in California, we worried where that would leave LogicPrep. She was our one-woman HR, client relations, and finance departments, and while the “all hands on deck” mentality is invigorating, it can create problems when the company relies too much on one person and doesn’t have clearly defined roles.

We’ve created a better system since then, delving into best practices for splitting up jobs, mitigating role confusion, and writing employee manuals. Here’s how to put these principles to the test in your own business.

Document Everything

We realized we needed a more complex system to capture the complexity of Kim’s job—but manuals are just so old-fashioned. Pre-empt the need to document jobs only on departure by encouraging every employee in your company to capture his or her responsibilities, along with relevant links to websites, PDFs, etc. on a backend website. We use Squarespace for this. This doesn’t have to be a massive side project, either; it may simply be helpful for employees to keep the Squarespace site open in the background of their computers over the course of a couple of months. They can fill it in as they’re completing their daily tasks. This format is more flexible and interactive than a traditional manual, which may not effectively capture the dynamic nature of a growing company.

Read more at www.businesscollective.com…

Lindsay Tanne is co-founder and COO of LogicPrep, an education company that helps families navigate the college admissions landscape.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.