Training Digitisation – Leverage knowledge sharing among your people
Here we look at the important topics of knowledge sharing and training digitisation, with tips on how to leverage the experience of your employees to improve performance and future-proof your business.
For many businesses, especially those within the knowledge-based economy, existing employees are their greatest asset. Staff turnover is expensive for any business. Studies show that the direct cost of replacement is over £30,000 on average to replace an employee earning over £25,000 per annum. However, more detrimental is often the indirect cost that comes with losing valuable knowledge and experience - something that is far harder to measure.
Facilitating and encouraging knowledge sharing across your organisation can be an extremely effective way to both enhance productivity within your existing teams and mitigate the brain drain that comes with staff turnover.
While your L&D department can roll out training programmes in a planned and centralised manner, a culture of knowledge sharing and a toolkit that makes it easy means that information can be shared at the speed of need (‘Just in Time Learning’) and when it’s convenient for subject matter experts to do so.
Knowledge Sharing Definition
Knowledge sharing is the exchange of information, skills and experience between individuals or across groups. When expertise is shared by an experienced person, it allows further people to benefit from that experience in order to boost their own performance and that of their peers, potentially strengthening an entire organisation.
Much knowledge sharing occurs naturally and accidentally through day to day interactions and conversations - those ‘water-cooler’ moments that characterise informal learning or tacit knowledge. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused (or at least accelerated) the transition to a hybrid or fully-remote work environment, making the accidental water-cooler conversation much less likely for many.
That informal kind of knowledge transfer is a social activity that is often hard to describe and organise - it comes with nuance, intuition and the free-flow of ideas.
However, explicit knowledge is something that can be more planned for and organised, so that specific information can be codified and made available to others.
The main attributes of explicit knowledge sharing are:
- Describable - the subject matter expert must be able to clearly articulate the information and experience they want to share
- Visible - the recipient must be made aware that the learning materials exist
- Accessible - the recipient must be able to open and consume the content where and when they need it
- Organised - the recipient must be able to navigate learning materials so that they can be consumed in a structured manner without confusion or information overload
- Complete - the education or training content should fit into a wider organisational context, signpost further related information where needed, and clarify any distinction between self-published, employee-generated content and the more top-down learning materials created by an L&D team.
Knowledge Sharing Benefits
When you have in-house expertise, you’ll want existing and future employees to be able to access it and enhance their own performance as a result. Knowledge sharing benefits can grow exponentially across a large organisation, spawning new ideas and strengthening the collective brain.
With a culture of knowledge sharing and providing the tools for digitising content, along with the structures to support it, a company can gain a great deal of competitive advantage. Some of the many benefits of knowledge sharing include:
If important knowledge is shared frequently and in a well-organised manner, the loss and disruption caused by a key employee leaving is greatly reduced. Information shared by the leaver can be made available to their peers and / or successor, in addition to the general onboarding and training materials.
While guarding against brain drain is about making the organisation resilient to employee departures by being agile in a reactive situation, succession planning is about looking ahead to (perhaps even scheduling) departures and promotions. This includes the process of knowledge transfer that will need to take place during that transition.
Starting in Spring 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic, employees voluntarily leaving their jobs en-masse in many countries - most notably the US - was a trend dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ by organisational psychologist Dr Anthony Klotz.
The pandemic caused employees in many countries to rethink their work-life balance and many countries, including the likes of the UK, Australia and Canada as well as the US, saw resignations increase, in addition to the millions of forced redundancies.
Regardless of Covid-19, millions of ‘baby boomers’ - those born between 1946 and 1964 - are now hitting retirement age. This large cohort of the population holds vast amounts of information and experience to share with their Generation X, Millennial and Gen Z successors.
Two of the great frustrations among business leaders are duplication of effort across teams that wastes resources and a lack of communication that prevents learning from previous mistakes.
With greater insight into what other groups are doing or have done in the past - good and bad, knowledge sharing helps time and resources to be used more effectively.
When individuals hoard information (albeit unintentionally most of the time), trust among peers is diminished. Providing employees with knowledge building tools, such as the ability to quickly and easily create and share digital training materials, more employees will feel supported by each other and that they are working collaboratively as part of a genuine team.
Employees often feel that they are not being listened to, which can lead to discontent and potentially resignations as a result. Rather than only experience top-down training that can feel disconnected from their real-like working environment, knowledge sharing tools and processes can help employees at every level to create learning materials that help to provide management support and information gathering.
This can then influence subsequent onboarding and training materials created by management and L&D teams, making them more contextually relevant.
The 70:20:10 learning methodology proposes that, on average, 70% of workplace learning is done ‘on the job’, while 20% is done through the sharing of knowledge between peers and only 10% is through formal, top-down onboarding and training.
That 20% part in the middle goes both ways - not only does the recipient benefit from information shared by the expert (making the 70% on the job part feel better supported) but the action of sharing knowledge can actually strengthen even the expert’s understanding of a subject.
Studies such as this one detailed in the Applied Cognitive Psychology journal show that learning by teaching others is extremely effective because it enhances the pathways of knowledge retrieval.
Training Digitisation & Knowledge Sharing Tools
Digitising training makes it possible to store and share information with an unlimited number of employees, even across territories, virtually instantly. A good, modern elearning content authoring tool makes it easy for any of your employees - regardless of their technical skills - to share knowledge digitally.
Such an authoring tool, like imc Express, can immediately benefit colleagues in any location via the cloud, while this form of training digitisation makes more knowledge available for future recruits too.
This is about employee-generated training content, and each person will have their own preferences around the style and media they feel most comfortable using for knowledge sharing.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your authoring tool enables content creation and sharing though any combination of:
- Video (including subtitling)
- Interactive elements
There should be little to no learning curve when it comes to an elearning authoring tool for employee-generated training software. It should be easy to access on any device, easy to use, and make the sharing of materials a fast and simple process.
It should also provide visual elements out of the box to make that training eye-catching and engaging by default so that your people can be proud of the materials they create - without needing to work at it.
For over 20 years, we’ve worked with some of the world’s leading brands, such as Audi, BASF, Sky, Deloitte and Vodafone, supporting their training needs with elearning solutions.
This experience has enabled us to create an elearning toolkit that makes it easy for them to digitise training content and make it accessible across multiple locations, countries and even languages.
If you’d like to learn more about how our solutions could enhance training digitisation and knowledge sharing within your organisation, feel free to contact us for an informal chat about your needs and goals.
Courage to the LMS - also as SME!
Not only big companies should have the courage to go for a Learning Management System (LMS). In our interview Christian Mai from S&G Mercedes Benz, tells about his experiences with rolling out an LMS in a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME).
The big e-learning glossary
WBT, SCORM, Predictive Analytics, Blended Learning - uh, what? The first two articles in this series are a glossary for those who have felt lost in the e-learning jungle of abbreviations and technical terms.
Commonwealth Games case study: imc Express e-learning content
Welcome to the third in our series exploring imc’s project with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. In this post, we will explore how the Commonwealth Games used the imc Express authoring tool to create their own eLearning content in-house.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games organising committee needed a lot of custom content to support their workforce of over 50,000 employees, contractors and volunteers. Ideally, this would be created in-house, meaning they needed an efficient, easy-to-use authoring tool to produce lots of eLearning content in a short period of time.
Why did the Commonwealth Games choose imc Express?
imc Express is an easy-to-use authoring tool that takes the hassle out of content creation. Learning teams can easily import text from Microsoft Word, add multimedia content, drag-and-drop images and build interactive learning activities to build engaging learning experiences. To support the most inclusive Commonwealth Games ever, video content is automatically subtitled, ensuring it’s accessible to the entire workforce.
On top of this, imc Express offers a range of pre-made and customisable design templates, along with didactic templates to help authors convey their content in a didactically meaningful way. Content is adaptive and responsive for all devices, ensuring it’s suitable for the Commonwealth Games’ large, diverse audience who may be accessing training from desktop computers, tablets or smartphones.
Creating content with imc Express
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games team has two imc Express ‘super users’ with the overall responsibility for managing the eLearning content creation process. These super users will set up the templates and send them out to each functional area in line with demand for new learning content.
The templated approach will empower more people to create learning content without needing extensive development or design experience, while also being able to create engaging and interactive eLearning content instead of a plain PDF.
Content straight from the in-house experts
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games only has the budget for a select few highly interactive modules to sit on their LMS, and with no dedicated in-house content provider, imc Express will make it much easier to spread the content creation workload across functional areas of the organisation, ensuring modules come straight from the experts for the best-quality training.
Why Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games needs custom content
With 43 different functional areas (or departments), the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games needs to accommodate a wide range of learning requirements.
There are 279 different volunteer roles within these functional areas, covering everything from transport to media to medal ceremonies; much of which will be unique to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
How the Commonwealth Games is using custom eLearning content
This custom eLearning content will supplement the in-person training which takes place within the Commonwealth Games venues in Birmingham, ensuring volunteers can make the most of their face-to-face time. The modules created in imc Express will help volunteers know what to expect before their in-person training, giving them a useful overview of their roles and the tasks they can expect to perform.
Over 50 courses were created, in-house, in no time. Many static documents and plain text resources were transformed into engaging, interactive eLearning. This was made significantly easier by the fact that with imc Express, a single plain text input can be converted into multiple outputs, such as SCORM, web content or ebooks. This content was then imported directly from imc Express into the Learning Magagement System (LMS), reducing manual content upload.
Providing this content as soon as volunteers have their roles, ensures that they can start to prepare for the games immediately without having to wait for their face-to-face training. They will have access to photos, videos, maps and more created with imc Express by leaders in their functional area, ensuring they can turn up for their face-to-face sessions with a foundation of knowledge.
This primarily self-created approach will also allow the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games team to accommodate inevitable last-minute requests for learning content, as they can all be quickly created in-house using templates and the imc Express tool’s artificial intelligence to pull together accessible, attractive and engaging learning resources for thousands of volunteers, contractors and paid employees.
More about this project
Join us for part 4 when we will take a look at the implementation of imc’s LMS for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, including the challenges they overcame and how they launched the LMS to a workforce of over 50,000…
A future-proof LMS for 2022 Commonwealth Games
A future-proof digital learning solution with multitenancy LMS to train large numbers of volunteers and contractors at the 2022 Commonwealth Games within a short time frame.
A holistic learning management experience for Australia’s national rugby league
A rejuvenated approach to modernise NRL learning centre portal with a fully-integrated LMS that increased participation rates and positive learner feedback.
Rapid Content Development: Creating E-Learning Trainings Quickly
Why fast creating digital trainings is possible but risky
... and suddenly, the training had to be scrapped. Many companies made that experience in lockdown number one. Employees needed to be trained, but the training was postponed due to Corona. Again. And again. However, most types of training simply cannot be endlessly postponed or even be cancelled altogether.
A pragmatic and swift solution is needed – training needs go where the employees are: their home office. For many companies, that means digitising learning content, and doing so quickly. They need rapid content development. This trend was already apparent before Corona, but the pandemic greatly increased the demand for the technologies that facilitate rapid content development.
This article explores what qualifies as rapid content development, what type of learning content is suitable for rapid digitisation, and what risks a strong focus on speed entails.
Definition: Rapid content development (RCD) is an agile model for teaching system design, comprising a preparation phase, an iterative design, template-based re-usable components and e-learning tools for quick and cost-efficient provision.
Speedy please – but without quality loss
We want things now: fast food, coffee to go, messenger services, online shopping … we no longer have time. Companies have also clocked onto this trend, and want to stay up to date with their training courses. An ever-increasing amount of knowledge is expected to be available almost instantly on various media while maintaining a high quality standard and staying within budget.
The solution: rapid content development. But wait a minute! No matter how fast you go, the quality of the overall learning solution must not be compromised. That’s why learning experts like Eva Lettenbauer always look at the big picture.
Hi Eva, thanks for “quickly” making time for us. How did you experience the rapid content development hype last year?
Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, many companies were facing the challenge of having to digitalise their face-to-face training in a short space of time. However, directly transitioning classroom-based training courses to a virtual classroom or web session is not always effective, and it’s most certainly not efficient.
That is why we always examine the specific issues and objectives. This allows us to digitise specific learning content in a way that drives outcomes and boosts performance.
How do you handle requests for “rapid” content?
Since requirements differ as widely as the type of knowledge to be conveyed, digital solutions vary enormously. We start by analysing the sharable knowledge and the desired outcome. We also examine if the integration of certain existing learning solutions or curated content would add value, and examine the suitability of different learning infrastructures. Finding the right formats for the content at hand has to be a priority, as this then allows new content to be created quickly and systematically.
What risks does rapid content development involve, and how do you avoid them?
There is a risk of quality loss – creating too much content while neglecting quality, or losing sight of the target group, their performance or the intended business outcome when designing and creating content. This can make the learning solution irrelevant and ineffective. Often, less is more. It pays to take a closer look and be more deliberate when starting the rapid content development process, and avoid such mistakes.
When would you recommend slowing down?
Whenever learning corresponds to behavioural changes, aims to change the learners’ mindset, or the branding, look or feel of the learning solution are important, investing time to achieve a high-quality solution is paramount. This is the only way to gain the learners’ lasting interest and make them believe in digital learning approaches.
GOOD TO KNOW
Authoring tools enable companies to create learning content themselves or digitise existing material. This facilitates a flexible response to learning requirements within the company.
Authoring tools are cost-effective and allow both internal experts and other employees to create training courses. This is also known as user generated content.
What are the limits for content creation with authoring tools?
Authoring tools like imcExpress are ideal for quickly creating and sharing content based on facts or background knowledge. Digital learning content can be created quickly and – crucially – kept up to date. However, no learner should be trained exclusively with web-based training courses. Especially if their development involves the application of specific practical skills, traditional web-based training is seldom enough – but that is all an authoring tool can deliver.
What would a worst-case scenario look like? How “not to” do it?
Worst case: 5 days of face-to-face classroom training is taken “as is” and squeezed into a 3-day training course in a virtual classroom. Endless recordings of face-to-face training or web sessions replace the on-site presentation of the material.
Best case: A 3-day face-to-face training course is digitalised and broken up into various learning nuggets like short web-based training courses, complemented with learning tandems, snappy web sessions and curated content.
How about a quick summary? Happy to be at your service:
Digital Learning Journey
Reaching the destination with the right blend of formats: Digital learning journeys capitalise on the strengths of each learning format to create a motivating learning experience.
User-generated elearning content meets artificial intelligence
Creating learning content has nerver been that easy. Oliver Nussbaum and his team developed a new AI-driven authoring tool called imc Express.
E-Learning Punk is an article and talk series for all L&D Pros who want to dare something and believe that digital training has to be colourful and loud.
I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.
I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.
Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.
Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations