Q: "A key employee is leaving the office. I know he won’t be able to completely train a replacement on everything he knows within the next few weeks. How do I get as much information from him as possible before he goes?"
A: There is no perfect way to get all of the information you want. Some things can only be learned by firsthand experience. However, there are some things that can help:
- If he is using a procedure manual, have him update it with the latest changes.
- Get a daily log of his activities.
- Have him write a job description. It will most likely contain things that are not in the official job description, and it will be much more specific.
- Job shadowing is an effective way for the replacement to run through as many day-to-day scenarios as possible.
There will always be things that cannot be learned during the transition period. There are problems that only arise occasionally, but the best way to learn about those is through dealing with them yourself. Don’t stress too much. Just get the essentials, and be supportive to the replacement.