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Who Knows?

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

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

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

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

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