5 ways to reduce dependence on key individuals (before the holidays)

Is your company left vulnerable if specific employees do not return to work after the holidays? Here are a few easy ways you can reduce your dependence on individuals before the summer.

Both smaller and larger companies can be left vulnerable when key personnel leave. A large degree of dependence on individuals can occur in relation to the contacts an employee has, how they work, the work they have performed, customer relations, and the various contracts they have entered on behalf of the company.

This article is mainly aimed at smaller businesses that have not yet heavily invested in business systems. Here are five easy ways to reduce vulnerability and dependence on key individuals:

1. A shared contact register
Any contacts that sales staff and customer service representatives – or purchasers for that matter – make on behalf of the company are owned by the company. If your company has a CRM system that your employees know how to use correctly, a shared contact register should be a matter of course. Any employees who do not use the system should at least register their contacts in a spreadsheet.

2. Document working methods
Whatever the task, company employees nearly always improve from month to month. The methods that are used and perfected are naturally the company’s property, and the quicker and more efficiently the tasks are completed, the more valuable these methodologies become. Therefore, allocate some resources to documenting working methods. Describing working methods provides reasonable insurance against the day one of your colleagues, for whatever reason, leaves the company.

3. Shared place for customer deliveries
Is the work performed for customers – or the documentation of the work – saved in the Sent folder of your colleague’s e-mail client? Gaining access to the employee’s e-mail may require legal authorisation, but even if you have access, finding what you’re looking for is no simple task. We won’t provide any software recommendations here, but will say that having a shared place for customer deliveries is reasonable, easily available, and simple to adopt.

4. A shared inbox for key clients
As an extension of the previous point – and as something that is also easy to set up – we advise having a shared e-mail for important customers. Let all communication go to the same inbox and, as often as possible, from the same e-mail. This makes everything a lot simpler if an employee leaves, especially if they leave suddenly.

5. Register all contracts
Nordic companies are very adept at focusing on their core activities. This results in a large number of subcontractors, which makes it easy to scale the deliveries and set requirements for quantity, quality and service. The more deliveries, the more important it is to have central control over these contracts that regulate deliveries. Without a form of control like this, your company risks automatic renewal without renegotiation and more deliveries than are necessary.

Want to know more about what your company can do to reduce its vulnerability to the departure of key personnel? Get in touch with House of Control today!