Coping with employee turnover is extremely difficult, but it’s an inescapable truth that all employers have to contend with. Putting together a plan to hedge your losses will save many man hours and billable service costs to fill the gap of a missing employee. Not all costs can be avoided, but by putting the right safeguards in place, you can minimize that loss.
Training is something that all clients expect on ERP projects. However, the type and level of training expected varies greatly. Some clients need a superuser quick overview while others expect a detailed deep-dive in a classroom setting. Unfortunately, no level or type of training will fully prepare you for the loss of an employee engaged in that training. The only countermeasure you have to this loss are the materials they leave behind. Therefore, it’s critical that your training session yield documentation to memorialize the time spent with the trainer.
ERP consultants should always provide some sort of documentation to accompany the training, but most of the time that documentation will be standardized to fit basic processes in the system. It is often necessary to customize (or supplement) this documentation with customized procedures and screenshots. While your consultant can often provide this for you, it may be much more cost effective (and a better training exercise) for your own personnel to create this documentation.
The organization can benefit from documentation well beyond the scope of your ERP system. But only if the documentation is clearly broken out into focused tasks. Start at the highest levels of categorization (Purchasing, Fulfillment, Warehouse, Accounting) and work your way down to functional processes (Creating a PO, Cutting a single check, Counting Inventory). Describe the primary objectives of each task and then dig into the detail. The goal is to create a potent reference guide that will convey the information necessary to perform the job with the fewest amount of words. No-one will benefit from a massive collection of filler and graphs.
Set aside time for each of your employees to create and maintain their process documentation and audit their documentation periodically. Provide examples and encourage the exchange of documentation. This can have a strong team building effect as each employee gains a better understanding of each other’s responsibilities. Many employees will resist and you’re likely to get a lot of push back. But you’ll be proud of the results with each new employee that you hire and you’ll save a heap of money that would have been spent on consultants to fill functional gaps or provide more training.