Knowledge transfer is a real challenge within most organizations. When done inefficiently, it can cost a company a lot of money and can have a real negative impact on personnel productivity. Because people have unique perspectives, learning styles and ways of processing information, it can be difficult to ensure company-wide consistency as employees come and go. eLearning solves this problem by providing a more scalable way to transfer knowledge and manage role transitions in any organization.
Why eLearning is the Right Fit for Knowledge Transfer
In a perfect world, employees would all learn at the same pace and process new information similarly. But we know that this isn’t the case. Therefore, using traditional learning methods, such as job observation - or shadowing - and classroom training, isn’t as effective as online learning.
For one, the material delivered through eLearning is documented and therefore consistent; there should be no question about what is the correct way to handle tasks and follow procedures and processes. Secondly, employees can learn at their own pace and enjoy the convenience of learning when they are most attentive - or have at least had their first cup of coffee.
Making Role Transitions Seamless with eLearning
When employees shift to new roles within an organization or are leaving the company, knowledge within their current role must be transferred to their successor(s). In the scenario where the employee is staying with the company but transitioning into a new role, that transitioning employee will need knowledge within their new role to be imparted on them as well.
Again, eLearning can make this process a more seamless one with best practices, processes and (if available) data and analysis organized and delivered via some single source of truth. Having a repository of this information better prepares the employee for their new role and minimizes departing employees having a negative impact on their successors should the departure be for any negative reason.
Strategies for Using eLearning to Improve Knowledge Transfer
It’s possible for your organization to improve the way that employees transfer and share knowledge. Here are some tips for using eLearning to do so effectively:
1. Create bite-sized modules.
People learn best when given small pieces of information at a time. Create a master list of core topics needed within a given role, and break that master list into sections of microlearning material. Microlearning has been shown to increase knowledge transfer by 17%, according to the Journal of Applied Psychology. If it makes sense for the role, provide a recommended order within which to take the series of microlearning modules.
2. Use varying content types.
Adults generally seek out learning from a variety of sources and media, from video to text. Consider this when rolling out any employee training content, including the transfer of knowledge. Do you want to be reading a wall of text to get accustomed to your new role? We doubt it. If the situation allows for it, have their predecessor record some videos or record screenshares of how certain things have been traditionally done within the role and chop it up into the aforementioned "chapters."
3. Connect learning to real-life tasks.
When employees make the connection between what they are learning and the tasks they will be performing, they can more naturally connect the action to the outcome. Align all knowledge material with actual real-life experiences and scenarios they will encounter, whether documented in text with helpful visuals or demonstrated in a recorded roleplay.
4. Gather feedback.
While knowledge transfer is quite different from a typical training program, it's important to evaluate the effectiveness of the content and its delivery as employees come and go and move around within the organization.
Make sure to administer a survey that gathers feedback into whether or not new-to-role employees feel best prepared to take on their new responsibilities. Even better, they can then take an active role in improving the documentation for their role once they've grown into it themselves.
Need more help? That's where we come in.