How can I isolate knowledge or parts of the digital intelligence (code) to prevent employees from running away with our codebase and starting their own companies?
I have four things in mind and would be happy for some feedback.
1. non-disclosure agreements - seem to me a rather short-term fix
2. cutting the codebase in two repositories to keep a few key parts "hidden"
3. if we ever become big enough it wouldn't be feasible to start anew;
4. brand might be the differentiator in other cases, though for some reasons, this won't apply here.
Security including protecting intellectual properties comes in layers. I have been employed by several people on different projects and these are some things I noticed my employers did to protect their work.
Limit access to codes
Have a strong employee contract
Have very clear employee policies
Log and maintain permission and access
If there's need for further clarification feel free to call.
Clear Goals and Objectives:
More often than not, it becomes difficult for employees to complete tasks without clear goals and objectives. Employees' work ethic also strengthens when they are fully aware of the work they are doing. Team leaders or managers should clearly explain the goals and objectives before they start new tasks. Irrespective of talent and work experience, employees need direction. Every organization follows a definite corporate ethical culture. Therefore managers need to align them with clear goals and objectives.
Hence, they can ensure the following points while they do it-
Goals should be measurable and maintain a fixed time frame.
It should be challenging and, at the same time, achievable.
It must be well accepted by the team members before implementation.