How do you address the challenge of getting employees to freely share knowledge with other employees? The ever-increasing speed of business combined with significant changes in the workforce is driving organizations of all sizes to find a solution. This Harvard Business School study discusses the serious problems that arise as experts retire and take deep knowledge of products and services with them. As millennials become 50% of the workforce by the year 2020 the question is, “how can you effectively tackle this age-old problem?”
It begins with leadership. If your company, big or small, believes that command and control management and “hoarding” of knowledge is acceptable, then it will be very difficult to foster an environment that promotes open sharing. Information that impacts customer satisfaction, revenue generation, and product quality are just some examples of knowledge that must be freely shared or your organization will not be able to keep up with the competition. Leadership needs to provide not only the cultural direction but also modern technology that makes knowledge sharing easy for employees.
It continues with employee training. This is where new hires first experience some of the previously shared knowledge that will be useful to them as start their new jobs. While you may have many content storage systems in your company, such as Google Drive, Dropbox or SharePoint, employee training is a highly curated content source that has a significant impact on retention and performance. And the best way to build great employee training is to get everyone in the organization to freely share knowledge and become part of the solution.
Building great training is fundamentally a knowledge-sharing problem, one that can be addressed with the right tools and technology. It needs to be scalable across the organization so that every employee can participate when they have the knowledge to share. When you have a new employee training need, you want to be able to quickly connect with people in your organization that can review the requirements, refine the scope of work, find existing content that can be reused, and organizes everything into a logical structure that is easy to assemble.
Employees are very willing to creating new content if needed. It just can’t require learning some specialized “eLearning” tool that is complex to learn and that they will use just once and awhile.
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The best solution will allow anyone to simply submit videos with short and simple text articles, combined with links to existing content from external sources. Content should not be batches of PowerPoint presentations, which are not easy to consume on mobile devices. You don’t need Hollywood production video quality for 90% of what employees training requires. Users want to watch short videos and read quickly, not sit at their desk for an hour and navigate through some long animated online course.
Working with internal subject matter experts (SME) in the building of employee training has historically been one of the greatest challenges faced by training departments. You need support from leadership to have a great culture for knowledge sharing. And tools such as Synapse that are easy to learn and implement, eliminating one of the greatest barriers to success.