Successful organizations rely upon robust employee knowledge. However, many organizations miss a critical step with regard to equipping employees with the knowledge they require to do their jobs and that is the provision of on-demand access to information.
Your organization’s information will be composed of the sum of all of the product/service details, policies, processes, procedures, and so on. This information is the foundation on which all other knowledge within the organization is based.
However, very often this information is carefully guarded by managers who make it their role to decide which pieces employees should be given access to.
This action puts employees at a disadvantage as they are unable to take ownership of their own learning. It also disempowers employees and leads to a level of micromanagement that can be very demotivating.
This hierarchical approach to information movement is antiquated and employees tend to be internet savvy and are used to being able to access information as and when they need it. If employees are to be effective they need the same autonomy with respect to learning.
We are not suggesting that this change will be easy or happen overnight. It may take weeks, months, or perhaps longer. However, the sooner you get started, the sooner you will reap the rewards of the transition.
There are 5 important steps you should take to set up on demand access to information as the foundation of learning and performance within your organization:
Take the internet for example, when people don’t know where they are going, they usually start with Google. You can use this established behaviour to pull together all of your organization’s information into a single online repository. Avoid complex file structures, email attachments, and shared network drives. Give your employees a single place to go where they can search and find information quickly, which enables them to do their jobs.
Many current knowledge management systems are built with a hierarchical structure. Often teams or functions have their own space within the system and it is restricted so that only they can view the information. This structure incorrectly assumes that employees only require silo’d information to do their roles, and it restricts collaborative learning. You can overcome this issue by structuring information to topic, and not by role or function. This should help to eliminate duplicate work and also reduce unwanted silos.
There is a lot of information within your organization and unfortunately the majority of that lives within the minds of your employees. Most companies take the time to formally document the main policies, processes, and procedures; but this often does not include the rich content which is so valuable. To collect this richer detail, it is useful to appoint an organizational curator who understands the business well and is a skilled researcher. Their role will be to collect information and transform it into knowledge which can be shared.
The amount of tacit knowledge within your organization will likely be huge, and it will be timely and potentially difficult to capture. You cannot expect one curator to have the bandwidth to capture all of that tacit knowledge. Therefore speed up the information collection by allowing employees the opportunity to contribute. Make the process quick and easy, such as the ability to use basic text, video, etc. Find ways to motivate employees to contribute such as peer recommendations and content ratings. As well as encouraging participation, it can also be used to bring the most popular and informative content to the top.
Curated information will be the foundation of your learning and performance ecosystem, and therefore it should be the basis of everything L&D does. For example, when you run an instructor led training event, make the course information available to employees for their reference. Use short bursts of microlearning for reinforcement. You should not be training your employees in anything that does not have readily available information available in a central source at all times.
On-demand access to information should be the foundation of your ecosystem and it will help you create a fully integrated and user centric support system that employees will trust and rely upon for their learning needs.
Have a think about how you can enable on demand information as the foundation for learning and development.
To find out how Axonify can cut your training budgets in half, increase knowledge retention and have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line, lets continue the conversation and make an appointment with a solutions expert.