NEW REPORT: The State of CLM and AI-Powered Contract Intelligence

Building Contracting Processes That Can Weather the Great Resignation

By Bernadette Bulacan

America is breaking employment records month after month, but it's no cause for celebration. Statistics show astounding numbers of resignations, in the millions each month since spring. August logged 4.3 million work departures. That's 2.9% of the workforce lost in a single month to what's now referred to as "The Great Resignation."

One of the biggest surprises is who's resigning, and contracting teams have reason to be concerned. Job turnover has historically been fairly common among younger employees with less experience and less financial stability. This new exodus, however, is driven by mid-career employees, aged 30 to 45. These employees carry with them a deep understanding of how their organizations operate and deliver value.

For contracting teams, resignations like these can be especially challenging, at both a macro and micro level. At a macro level, contract management has historically been treated as complicated, specialized work where institutional knowledge and established relationships power the process. Many companies still handle their workflows using homegrown, non-automated procedures (or, worse yet, with lots of documents saved in Outlook and desktops). In these contexts, contracting practices can be opaque to newcomers, and take more time and guidance for new talent to become conversant with them. If contracting professionals aren't around to support newcomers, it gets that much harder to attract, onboard and retain new talent.

At the micro level, when new talent is brought in, and enters a deal midflight, they lack visibility over all that's taken place in the negotiation process up to that point. Deals might stall as the new contract manager takes over, or negotiations may end up reversing the work of the previous team.

Whether your company is experiencing high attrition rates or not, these current events should lead every contracting team to think very seriously about whether their contract management processes are documented and repeatable, or if their contract management expertise could walk out the door at any moment.

Contract management software can go a long way to ensuring it's the former, not the latter. A unified contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform consolidates all of a company's contracts and templates out of Outlook and into a single location for easy search and access; approval hierarchies can be built so there's no question as to who needs to see what contract when; contract risk scores can help highlight contract attributes that matter most to the company.

CLM can provide a running start for new employees, with access to templates, clause libraries, contract playbooks and other contract knowledge surfaced through CLM.

Finally, CLM—along with other automation technology—has the potential to help contracting teams attract and keep talent. The next generation of workers has come to expect technology to be in place to enhance their productivity and eliminate inefficiencies. These workers expect business software to operate like the direct-to-consumer software they're so familiar with in their daily lives. Companies that deploy technology that empowers employees — by helping them work the way they're accustomed to working — will be more prepared to compete and retain top talent, and keep up with changing regulations, in the days to come. Arguably, this is even more important in contracting, since it's an area that has traditionally lagged behind other areas from a technology standpoint.

Contracts are the core of every business relationship and businesses can only move as fast and efficiently as their contracts. When companies are staring down a sharp loss of contract expertise, contract management technology can be a life-saver.

To learn more about what a contract management solution can do for your organization, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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