For several years now, companies have been undergoing unprecedented changes. Major technological developments are changing working methods all the time. A new generation of tech-savvy people who are comfortable with the use of digital tools is arriving in organisations… while another generation, carrying strong know-how, is retiring. This know-how is currently the focus of much attention. Essentially acquired by the employee through his or her field experience, it is an intangible asset of inestimable value to the company.
In this context, they must put in place a simple and effective means of capturing and sharing this knowledge.
The importance of combining formal and informal know-how
Until now, companies have dedicated considerable resources to the dissemination of formal knowledge, through training modules (institutional or e-learning) or technical documentation, often theoretical.
The theoretical approach is necessary. It mobilises professional and pedagogical experts whose role is to transmit fundamental knowledge to employees. But it is essential to include an informal dimension, acquired on the ground. Technical daily gestures carried out on a machine in the factory and not documented in a manual. A proven method of repair on medical equipment. Good practices in managing sensitive projects resulting from years of experience.
Your employees need access to the relevant resources – formal or informal – to carry out their mission on a daily basis. It is therefore necessary to centralise this content, structure it and make it usable.
Your employees need access to the relevant resources – formal or informal – to carry out their mission on a daily basis.
Various technological solutions exist on the market. The objective is to find the formats and methods that best suit your objectives.
What formats and methods are needed to share your know-how?
We recommend that our clients use visual and short formats that allow the employee to quickly understand a procedure or some specific subject matter. The production of microlearning videos is generally well suited to documenting technical gestures but also has some disadvantages. Well controlled by expert users, it can discourage the average employee who has to script his own sequence. Moreover, videos with commentaries must be translated or subtitled for international use, and they can quickly become obsolete (in case of changes in equipment or in the working environment for example) and their content is not exploitable for research purposes, which makes their accessibility limited, especially in operational situations.
We recommend that our clients use visual and short formats that allow the employee to quickly understand a procedure or some specific subject matter.
We recommend structured step-by-step formats, illustrated primarily by photos or videos if they provide useful information. A structured form format allows any user to write a good practice or procedure in a matter of minutes. These are formats that are easy to maintain and translate.
The tool you select should allow you to choose the format of the content you create with flexibility and to simply define the organisation of information and the most intuitive navigation for your users.
Involving your employees and building a dynamic community of practice
To successfully involve your employees in a process of knowledge sharing, it is first and foremost necessary that the platform you set up is useful to them on a daily basis. That is why we believe that combining formal and informal knowledge within a single platform is important.
Your platform must be the single entry point for accessing all information types: a machine’s technical manual, a good practice video shared by an employee or comments posted on a procedure, for example.
Here are some of our recommendations for creating a positive dynamic around your platform:
- Create industry-specific or theme-specific instances, especially in large companies, to facilitate content access and avoid the “catch-all” effect
- Identify in-house expert ambassadors in charge of animation and content validation
- Make the experience fun, organising internal challenges and enhancing quality content
- Keep the platform agile enough to evolve as your business changes and to follow user feedback: for example, by content re-structuring, adding new features, and deploying new countries
In order to speed up knowledge transfer within your company, take advantage of the innovative solutions available on the market by choosing formats adapted to your activity: videos, step-by-step, illustrated articles. In order to create an active and engaged community, adopt a user-centred approach and be agile so that you can adapt your platform to the needs of your employees.
Dokit offers a solution to ease the transfer of knowledge within organisations. The Dokit platform, based on Mediawiki, allows you to create, manage and share work instructions, guides or any other content in a structured, visual and collaborative format.
To learn more about the Dokit platform and our services, visit our website at www.dokit.io