Have “mamam” sessions with your former employees

October 16, 2006

Isn’t it amazing to see a company survive with minimal interruptions brought about by mass employee exits?  Who would not want to venture into a business that is employee-exit-proof?  Imagine the effort to rebuild lost knowledge, e.g. a lost business relationship – a major customer cancels his regular orders because his contact employee founded a competing business, bringing along that customer with him.

So how then can companies retain corporate knowledge when highly valuable employees decide to move on?  The latest buzz? – Knowledge Management (KM).  Google this keyword, “capturing tacit knowledge” and the results will show you a bunch of links for guides at how KM can help mitigate the risk.

Yes mga bai, there are KM methodologies and technology solutions that allow a company to capture tacit knowledge of a resigning employee, coercion is not necessary, but hey, it might work too. You’ll be amazed at how these methodologies and technologies can keep you from grieving over their losses.

Unfortunately, KM is not the optimal solution. What struck me the most is an article that recommends that despite them all, maintaining a good relationship with those employees is still the ultimate key – except maybe when the loss was due to psychological incapacity or gikuha na sya ni Lord.

Why maintain a good relationship? Because there is this tacit knowledge of every sane person that can never be made explicit. There’s only one George in the world, but too many Juans in this country. It is important to make an effort to continue to reach out to them. For all you know, he might have left and embedded a code in your computer program that automatically shuts off the entire system on New Year’s Eve!

At the very least, take every effort to play badminton and/or have “mamam” sessions with them.


8 Responses to “Have “mamam” sessions with your former employees”

  1. Mark Says:

    “Unfortunately, KM is not the optimal solution. What struck me the most is an article that recommends that despite them all, maintaining a good relationship with those employees is still the ultimate key”

    I would argue though that the act of maintaining a good relationship with ex-employees is still part of KM. Many people are still confused about KM thinking it’s about software. But it’s not. This is how I understand KM

  2. dwinnix Says:

    thanks Mark, this is valuable insight indeed. i totally agree that maintaining good relationship with ex-employees is still part of knowledge management. maybe i was just trying to emphasize that for as long as a company (informally) “maintains good relationships of its ex-employees,” any other KM processes, methodologies or software solution may no longer be necessary. in other words, an organization which is completely unaware of KM, as it is regarded now, can still be assured of keeping the corporate knowledge intact despite employee exits, if it seeks to ‘stay cool’ with them.

  3. Mark Says:

    I would–with all due respect, of course :-)–disagree that maintaining a good relationship with ex-employees renders any other KM activity unnecessary. I believe prevention is always better than the cure and an employer would’ve done better if he/she had worked hard to keep the employee from even thinking about moving on. That sort of activity, the act of keeping the workplace a fulfilling environment for employees, is still part of KM.

    Furthermore, if an employer does successfully maintain a good relationship with its ex-employees, it doesn’t really mean he is assured that organizational knowledge will remain in-tact. Take for example the situation where annual employee turnover is close to 30% or 40%. No matter how well you maintain your ex-employee relationships, the turnover will be too much for the organization to handle.

    Pamela Holloway’s article which you cited above is a good paper on KM, but it remains to be incomplete. A better definition would be that of Dean Call which he published through the Journal of Knowledge Management:

    “Knowledge Management – Not Rocket Science.” Dean Call; Journal of Knowledge Management; Vol. 9, No. 2, 2005, pp. 19-30


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