Accelerated knowledge transfer

Last updated: May 19, 2021

Knowledge transfer can support teams as they respond to urgent needs and situations, such as health emergencies or wildfires. These situations may include employees being temporarily moved to a role that supports a new initiative, employees temporarily working in an area that requires more people serving on the front line, and employees who are taking on new duties as a result of co-workers being temporarily reassigned or going on leave. Knowledge transfer can support each of these situations.

The Knowledge Transfer Inventory Template (XLSX, 58KB) can support the scenarios described above by helping to identify and prioritize the knowledge that will need to be transferred. The Succession Plan Options Template (DOCX, 41KB) provides a variety of options that managers can use when preparing for a vacancy. Many of the options in the document will assist managers and teams preparing for one or more of these situations. Regular team meetings and one-on-one meetings will also support individuals during times of change.

New initiatives

A quick and effective response can include the creation of new programs and initiatives that will be staffed by new teams. Specific approaches that may help people supporting a new initiative include:

Supporting a different business area

During unusually busy times, some business areas may need additional team members to ensure they can meet the increased demand.

  • Job Shadowing (DOCX, 45KB) can help an employee who has joined a new area get an understanding of what the role involves and what duties the role includes
  • Mentoring (DOCX, 45KB) can help employees new to the area feel comfortable and confident in their new role
    • An informal mentorship between an experienced employee and one who has recently joined can be very effective

New duties

Employees may need to take on new duties because of co-workers being temporarily reassigned or going on leave.

  • Job shadowing can be effective for employees taking on new duties if the person who normally does the duties has not yet been deployed
  • An Informational Interview (DOCX, 46KB) can be effective if an employee has already moved to a different area
    • The employee taking on the new duties can prepare questions and book a time to meet virtually with their team member
  • Cross training can be particularly helpful if your team anticipates that some people may move to support a new business area
    • This helps ensure that knowledge is captured prior to someone leaving