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How Businesses Can Fix the Employee Knowledge Gap

 

Posted on Wed, 23/03/2016 - 21:53

Employee knowledge gaps are permeating the corporate world at a pace we don’t care for, and the chasm is only widening by the day. While the advent of technology has paved way for unprecedented access to information, the endless barrage of figures and facts has left the employees drowning in much more data than they can process. In fact, a study conducted by Bersin by Deloitte states that almost 70% of organization employees are suffering from the “overwhelmed employee” syndrome. Such a massive volume of material means that employees don’t know what to find, where, or even what to focus on. Even Google doesn’t provide all the work related answers. Most of the time, employees fail to locate what they are looking for, and even when they do, they have to access multiple systems to get it. When employees don’t have access to the pertinent information at their fingertips, they cannot be expected to perform at their best, or take the right course of action at work. The outcome of employees unfamiliar with the mechanics of their work, translates into safety issues, missed sales opportunities, and inadequate customer service that end up costing the organization a fortune.

While some companies provide the required information to the employees, they can sometimes fail to do it in a way that facilitates employee retention and applying it to their real work environment. For most organizations, the challenge lies in ensuring employees actually comprehend what is being taught and apply it on the job. However, before enterprises strive to surmount this challenge, they have to revamp their approach towards training. Employers need to focus their energy on knowledge building, instead of simply delivering information. Without this shift, an enterprise cannot hope to bridge the employee knowledge gaps, which could have severe long-term repercussions for the business. Here are a few training approaches geared towards achieving this goal:

How businesses focused on training can fill the employee knowledge gap

Ditch Macro: Say Yes to Micro Learning

Instead of conducting death-by-PowerPoint, daylong, yawn-inducing training sessions that are met with confounded stares and beady eyes, or sending employees to boring, lengthy eLearning courses via LMS; breaking information into smaller, digestible chunks employees learn subsequently, is the cornerstone of micro learning. Research has proven organizations with micro learning in place, boast 65% more improvement in revenue per full-time equivalent, than businesses who fail to incorporate it. Here are five main advantages of micro learning:

  • Information is easier to remember and retain since it is segmented into bite-sized chunks.
  • Employees are less likely to feel stressed or overwhelmed when they concentrate on learning one thing at a time.
  • It is easier to update small content chunks more efficiently and easily, than when they are incorporated into lengthy sessions.
  • It opens doors for personalized, tailored learning, because employees are only required to learn the training modules that pertain to their level of expertise and job description.
  • Using standalone modules, the content can be formatted in a way that suits the material best, instead of forcing it into an existing framework

Repeat. Test. Modify. Measure Training

Simply going the micro route isn’t enough for organizations. What’s the point of training if employees fail to integrate that learning in their jobs? To accomplish this, the information needs to be deeply ingrained into their minds, until it becomes second nature. For instance, if you hear something once, you are likely to forget it. But if somebody keeps repeating the same thing over and over again, it gets stuck in your head. Training can work with the same principle. By offering short and succinct doses of micro learning, and testing recall regularly by prompting employees for answers about the subject matter, you solidify the data in their brains.

By leveraging this concept, you can even identify areas of knowledge gaps and tailor the content to get employees on the same page. By continuing to evaluate the knowledge curve and altering the content accordingly, the knowledge gaps are slowly closed as employee expertise amps up. Although it could have been an onerous task in the past, now-a-days technology seamlessly blends together knowledge-on-demand performance support, Gamification, and micro learning to augment employee knowledge, so they can do their jobs more effectively. Such state of the art software can even measure job performance, track the transformation of learning into knowledge, and prove that information has a vast impact on business results.

Gamify to Boost Knowledge Growth & Engagement

Nothing could be worse than adding another chore to somebody’s already jam-packed routine. However, if training is perceived as more of a fun break than a mundane necessity, employees might even look forward to it. Gamifying learning, also known as Gamification, is one way to go about it. When you incorporate things like friendly team Competitions, rewards, and game play, training will move up on the employee’s to-do list. Gamifying learning boosts the chances of employees engaging and participating fully in training.

By Designing Digitally, Inc.