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Who Knows?

Employees come and go, but how do you get their knowledge to stick around?

This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A competent employee has left your company, and amid the confusion, you realize you've lost something irreplaceable: that person's knowledge and experience. You're facing a knowledge gap that could have been avoided by asking yourself a few questions: How am I encouraging our employees to share their knowledge of products and procedures? How am I documenting it for future reference?

Heather Hesketh, 29, saw this knowledge gap from the employee perspective when she was a technical writer for a manufacturer of scientific devices. "It took me six months to get up to speed when I started," she says. "They showed me the room that had all the documents I would need, and that was it. I'm sure the person before me had a system, but I didn't know what it was."

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