How can I document my content when staff leave the organisation?

This checklist will help heritage organisations of any size retain skills and knowledge even when staff and volunteers leave.

This resource is available in English and Welsh
Pink highlighter pen ticks individual boxes on a checklist
Image courtesy of Canva.

How can I document my content when staff leave the organisation?

1. Introduction

Retaining digital skills and knowledge when people leave your organisation is very important, especially for heritage organisations where volunteers change and short-term projects abound.

In a sector with high turnover – whether its academics moving on or community projects changing over time – organisations must ensure that they share their hard-earned knowledge before people leave, so that they can move forward easily, even with staff changes.  

Knowledge sharing has multiple benefits. It increases productivity by reducing bottlenecks – if everyone can perform a task, then there is no need to wait for someone who can. It leads to greater collaboration and teamwork – people have a greater appreciation of how things work as a whole within your organisation when understanding the different roles that feed into it.

Finally, it helps organisations future-proof themselves. Sharing challenges, solutions, and even account logins means that the work does not have to stop because the person initially looking after it has moved on. It means that no task is left without someone responsible for it. 

It means a seamless handover from one person in the organisation to another, helping them to do their job and your organisation to continue to flourish in another’s absence. 


2. Checklist for skill-retention

In this checklist, which you can download below, we show you how you can document digital skills and knowledge in your organisation in the event of staff or volunteers leaving. 

There are five stages to follow:

1. Identify knowledge and skills
2. Share knowledge quickly
3. Share knowledge over time
4. Encourage handovers
5. Conduct an exit interview


3. Download checklist

Download and print out the Checklist for skill-retention (pdf 166kb) for more information on each of these stages and to keep track of your progress. 


More help here

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Published: 2022

Creative Commons Licence Except where noted and excluding company and organisation logos this work is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0) Licence

Please attribute as: "How can I document my content when staff leave the organisation? (2022) by Ioan Marc Jones, Charity Digital supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, licensed under CC BY 4.0


More help here

Digital Heritage Hub is managed by Arts Marketing Association (AMA) in partnership with The Heritage Digital Consortium and The University of Leeds. It has received Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and National Lottery funding, distributed by The Heritage Fund as part of their Digital Skills for Heritage initiative. Digital Heritage Hub is free and answers small to medium sized heritage organisations most pressing and frequently asked digital questions.

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