In the Deloitte 2014 Human Capital Trends Study of corporate talent and HR needs, twelve challenges were found. The biggest one, “the overwhelmed employee”, is the employee dealing with not only a lot of information in the form of text messages, tweets, emails, meetings, and conference calls every day, but is working more hours than they would like to.
In another study by IDC, 44 percent of employees are not able to get the answers they are looking for and, if they do manage to find what they need, 61 percent of employees say they have to access four or more systems to do it. Such is the extent of information they are dealing with every day.
If the workforce is not able to find the right information, it is impossible for them to make proper decisions on the job. This is bound to result in inadequate customer service, missed sales opportunities, and poor employee performance in general. And the company will end up losing a lot of money as a result.
The first step should be making information readily available, and then providing learning in a way that helps the workforce apply it to the job quickly. Here are a few approaches you can take to bridge the knowledge gap at your workplace:
Switching from macro to micro
Instead of holding day-long training sessions, providing bite-sized information in microlearning modules allows employees to learn over time. As per Aberdeen research, companies using a microlearning approach experience 63 percent greater year-over-year improvement in their revenue compared to companies without microlearning in place.
Repeat and measure
While using a microlearning approach is the right thing, it will not be enough. For training to be successful, the workforce should be able to apply the learning to the work they do. So it is important to focus on the same subject matter for some time and provide assessments to help employees solidify information in their memory.
Gamify to increase engagement
For employees to look forward to a training session, learning has to be fun. This can be done by introducing gamification, an educational approach to motivate learners with game elements in environments like game play, friendly team competition, and rewards.
Leverage baby boomers
When they retire, decades of experience go out the door along with the baby boomers unless a company has plans in place to pass on their knowledge to Gen X and millennial employees. General Motors has launched an internal online mentor portal with 4,000 employees. The program is both for young staffers seeking a mentor and older employees seeking to mentor someone new. THORS has developed eLearning courses for the manufacturing industry by capturing the knowledge of such subject matter experts.
The sheer volume of information an employee comes across in his day-to-day work has created knowledge gaps, and these gaps continue to widen instead of shrink. There is simply too much to process. With new learning strategies in place, organizations can not only fill the knowledge gaps that would enhance employee performance and allow the business to thrive, but they could also increase workforce morale in the process, thereby ensuring the workforce stays with the organization for a longer period.