Facilitating the Digital Knowledge Transfer – Here’ how to get started

Knowledge transfer seems to have always been a major hurdle for organisations. Experienced employees leave the organization and new, fresh faces take their place. Departures happen for many reasons: retirement, switching jobs or extended leaves. Change can often be good too, to ensure the organization gets fresh new ideas and keeps innovating. Yet, the major problem of succession planning remains: new joiners take a long time to get to 100% performance. Luckily, digital knowledge transfer can solve many of the problems and help accelerate the performance development.

Thanks to new technologies, all organisations have the means to conduct efficient digital knowledge transfer, even for hidden knowledge. Imagine if you could equip your new joiners with the knowledge of the experienced industry veterans. Instead of throwing them to the deep end of the pool, you could enable them to start their duties and be instantly productive. Here are a few key steps you can take towards making that a reality.

Make your employees the core of the digital knowledge transfer process…

Naturally, the employees should be at the core of the knowledge transfer process. After all, it’s their experience, knowledge and expertise that carry the organisation and that needs to be transferred. Hence, you should make it your mission to extract the best possible information from your employees.

To get the best possible information, you should enable your employees to document their work processes. The most lacking aspect of induction for new joiners or promotes is that the programs often fail to address the actual work routines. Digital means enable us to capture the exact work processes in various formats, like in a digital apprenticeship. And the difference can be huge. Think of a new engineer studying manuals and guidebooks versus one having access to a library of recordings of seasoned engineers completing the same tasks. Luckily, the tools for enabling this sort of documentation are already there. Videos shot with mobile devices, screen recordings, augmented reality and online mentoring are just a few examples.

… Then pool the knowledge and extract the relevant best practices

Once you have your staff documenting their processes through e.g. video and screen recordings, you need to vet the content. A great way to do is to have employees upload their recordings to an internal portal or internal social media. Once uploaded, you can subject the content to a peer-to-peer vetting process. Let your own subject matter experts evaluate which video captures the specific part of the job the best. Furthermore, the experts can upvote or “like” the best uploads and even comment on them. From thereon, the HR’s job is rather straight forward: extract the best materials and build them into pedagogically sound training materials. If your organisation is a large one, resulting in a huge number of uploads, you might be better off using analytics to figure out the best content.

After doing this, you can have the “formal” training materials and performance support built on the organisations own hidden knowledge. Give the new employees access to this, and you’ll see them going from 0 to 100 much faster, directly affecting your bottom line.

Do you have problems with your organisational knowledge transfer? We’d be happy to guide you through a digital knowledge transfer knowledge to ensure your employees can always perform at their best. Just leave us a note here.