Many organisations are at risk of losing their memory because workers switch jobs too quickly, without passing on what they’ve learned. This “corporate amnesia” can have serious consequences, writes Phil Tinline.
Britons today change job more frequently than workers in much of the rest of Europe and, as the economy improves, that churn rate increases. Young workers move jobs much often than older workers did.
But there’s a hidden cost.
Each time someone leaves their job, a chunk of the organisation’s memory leaves too. How, then, do you run complex systems, see through long-term projects, or avoid past mistakes?
In 2012, one institution found that, as City firms poached its bright young employees, its staff turnover was hitting 28% – faster, apparently, than McDonalds.
And for Her Majesty’s Treasury, after its experiences during the financial crisis, this was rather scary.