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Five things finance departments need to do now to prepare for staffing turnover.

It's never fun when a key employee gives their notice. It's especially stressful if they are the only employee who knows how to use your financial software. But, there are things you can do to help minimize the stress and streamline these inevitable transitions.

Here are five things you can do now to make sure your next staffing turnover is less painful:

  1. Document Workflows and Processes. Make sure key activities within your department are well documented, and that you know how to find that documentation. While staff turnover may provide a good opportunity to review and improve on these processes, you still need a starting point and a resource for your new employee to help them get going in their job position. This isn't a one and done step either. You need to review and update this information regularly, at a minimum annually, or better yet, whenever a major change has occurred to your departmental workflows. Your software or other existing tools may even have options to help you with this documentation. For example, the Abila MIP Fund AccountingTM Process Manager can assist in organizing Workflows and Reports that may be called upon by a successor. 
  1. Create Onboarding Strategies. Beyond the general Human Resources Onboarding provided to new employees, you'll want to create finance department specific materials and strategies that help your new employee get up to speed with key information related to how your department runs, and what their role will be. Creating a standard departmental orientation, assigning mentors to new employees, planning for follow up meetings at set intervals, and preparing relevant documentation for their review are just a few possibilities. The final on boarding process will be unique to your organization, but critical to helping new employees succeed and thrive.
  1. Allocate Time for Ramp Up. Anticipate that a new employee won't be contributing fully on the day that they start. You need to understand the ramp up time needed to get up to speed with the job, and have strategies in place to cover for the work load as your new employee adjusts.
  1. Inform Business Partners and Other Departments. Be sure new key contact information is shared with your business partners so they can update their contact lists and continue to provide the relevant people within your organization with the assistance and services that they need. Without updating key associates, renewal invoices and other critical, and time sensitive, information may no longer make it into the right hands. You also want to be sure other internal departments have the updated contact information, and know the correct person to reach out to when needed.
  1. Budget for Technical Training. While training new employees will be critical in many areas, the key to being effective with the software tools you have put in place is knowing how to use them correctly and training in this area should not be overlooked. We receive many panicked phone calls from new employees who don't even know where to begin on their software. At a minimum, a new employee should get some orientation and overview training on the softNew Employeeware, and then once they have settled into their new position, you can evaluated if more in-depth and targeted training is needed. If you don't have staff turnover, you can still use training money that you budgeted to help enhance and improve upon the expertise of your existing staff. Long time users may not be up to date on the latest functionality and features of the software that they use on a daily basis and refresher training is a great way to address this.

This is just an overview of some of the things you can do now to be prepared when your next staffing change occurs. 

It's always good to have a plan in place. It makes the transition so much smoother.

Soft Trac is a woman-owned business and accomplished team of nonprofit software consultants.  We believe in making nonprofits "do good" better.   For more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog or to learn more about the software products and services we offer, please visit our CONTACT page. 

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