In psychology, there are three significant stages of processing memories: encoding, storage, and retrieval. A malfunction in the encoding process leads to forgetting essential things that might have significance in the future.
Encoding is responsible for imprinting our experience on our brain, whether it be an event, situation, person, or anything else. After this process, those memories can be stored and retrieved when needed. Thus, a breakdown in the first step of memory processing will lead to the absence of specific memories. Encoding failure occurs when an individual’s brain fails to create an imprint or a link to a particular event or information.
In the business world, the failure to create a memory can have severe consequences on a company’s operations. In many companies, specific activities depend on certain information and experiences gained by their employees, and require their professionals to have exceptional memories of prior assignments. For example, company A is planning a meeting of the board of directors. The office manager was asked to prepare the room, set up the office table, provide beverages, and print out the reports that contain the agenda for the gathering.
However, while the employee was listening to the list of tasks, he immediately started to think about how he would perform the first requirement (preparing the table). As a result, he was distracted and did not hear when he was asked to print out the reports, resulting in encoding failure. The meeting depended on those files, and their absence disrupted the meeting’s flow and productivity, leading to a longer, less efficient conference, for which the office manager was reprimanded.
There are more examples, such as not remembering to make an urgent phone call, not sending crucial directions to subordinates, forgetting about meetings, neglecting to follow specific instructions, etc. When a professional within a business organization fails to encode important information in their brain, it can lead to lower productivity, lower job satisfaction, and higher employee turnover rates. Additionally, some business entities have safety training for their workers.
A failure to code proper memories during this process could harm an individual in the future while performing specific tasks. Hence, encoding failure for one individual can have negative implications on various levels of the company.