As technology is changing, so is the status quo of the everyday workplace. Jobs come and go faster than before as remote work is more accessible than ever before. While benefitting employees, as they get the compensation and work setups that allow them to live their chosen lifestyles, this rapid change in employment comes to the detriment of employers.

Attrition rates have risen since The Great Resignation, meaning employees are seeking job opportunities at a much higher rate than ever before. While many employers are seeking ways to retain staff, some are looking to replication to solve their staffing problems.

What Is Employee Retention?

Employee retention is an organization’s ability to prevent employees from leaving their job for a specific period of time. Essentially this method of keeping skills within the organization involves helping employees feel satisfied within the organization. The strategies associated with retention involve keeping employees happy, motivated, and giving them opportunities for growth within the workplace.

What Is Employee Replication?

Employee replication is a sort of business process centered around creating a transferable knowledge base, meaning that tasks are broken down and taught in a manner that makes it doable for anyone. This method allows employers to keep the skills they need separate from their people. This makes retention hurt less as an employee can be replicated, at least in terms of skillsets.

Factors That May Lead To A Shift

Employee retention is always a big topic within companies. Retaining employees is more cost-effective than constantly recruiting staff when someone leaves. This is where many people opt for replication as an even further step.

High attrition rates, even with a shift in culture promoting retention, may prompt businesses to reassess their processes instead of funneling more resources toward retaining talent. This doesn’t mean businesses should neglect retention programs. It simply means diversifying their means of keeping skills within a company.

In addition to high attrition rates, a traditional workplace has certain key people who specialize in certain areas. This allocation of skills and knowledge is detrimental when that person chooses to go with a different opportunity, as it sets their former employer back, especially if they were an integral part of the company. To avoid these scenarios, it would be beneficial to have knowledge be accessible universally, instead of hoarded by individuals.

Benefits Of Employee Replication

One of the biggest draws of employee replication is the speed at which positions can be filled. It will streamline the recruitment process, allowing for more positions to be hired at a faster rate. Instead of sending your recruitment team or any other manpower on trying to source candidates who have the exact skills necessary, you can fill positions faster and based more on the personality of the individual. 

Hiring based on the soft skills of a person brings the secondary benefit of retention. By hiring people that mesh well with the company culture, you can easily keep them engaged. Having someone in an environment where they thrive is better for their longevity.

The replication process itself makes businesses more efficient. By creating a transferable knowledge base, you’re allowing any employee to quickly learn and understand other roles and responsibilities. This isn’t exclusive for new hires, if an employee would like to be cross-trained, the opportunity is readily available.

Strategies For Successful Employee Replication

For replication to be successful, the knowledge base has to be built. You can’t expect to have a plug-and-play style system without foundational knowledge. This step will involve detailed playbooks on how to perform every aspect of existing jobs.

Equally as important as the knowledge base, is the training. There has to be a well-thought-out training program that works for both new employees and those who wish to take on cross-training. The training has to get across all the information in the knowledge base that impacts their work. As the name suggests, the training has to have an employee replicated, meaning all the skills have to be transferred. While the idea is simple, it is not easily actionable as everybody is different and learns differently. By providing thorough training, you can teach a broad range of skills to a wide range of people. Incorporating both formal and informal training methods, such as on-the-job training and mentorship, has seen success across a wide variety of industries.

The Wrap Up

There are a number of reasons why companies shift their focus from employee retention to employee replication. These reasons may include the need to replace positions quickly, high attrition rates, and the desire for a more universal knowledge base. In order to be successful in your shift, you have to have a knowledge base already in place and a well-thought-out training program. If you stay true to your training and follow through, you should find a high level of success with your shift. Do note that you shouldn’t completely abandon employee retention, rather shift your focus to employee replication.