- Compete for, and employ people who match the performance/success requirements of the job with their existing skills and knowledge
- Empower the people to do their jobs well, through further job-specific knowledge acquisition and skills training
- Leverage the value of this knowledge by converting it into a form that can be shared, reflected upon and applied in value-adding activities
- Capture and store the knowledge so that it doesn’t evaporate when employees leave their position or the company
This discipline & process is called Learning & Knowledge Management, and the effective mastering of Learning & Knowledge Management is one of the key determinants of competitive advantage, innovation, and company performance in today’s knowledge-driven marketplace – for small-and medium-sized businesses as well as for large organizations.
Let’s look at some of the common workplace challenges relating to Learning & Knowledge Management.
What are the common ENTERPRISE challenges?
Without a conscious management focus on knowledge management, a lot of critical knowledge and learning issues can arise:
- Knowledge not located in one central repository. In many organizations, knowledge resides unorganized inside the heads of employees, or in ad-hoc, unstructured documents and files across the organization. This means information cannot easily be accessed across multiple locations or departments
- Knowledge is not organized for easy search. Without organizing and structuring knowledge and information in a way that allows this knowledge to be searched and specific required information to be accessed, the continuity of knowledge transfer or knowledge update becomes difficult or impossible, especially when employees change departments or leave the company. The search for information is particularly difficult, time-consuming and cost-intensive in a paper-based system
- Knowledge security not guaranteed. Without a system to organize and control knowledge, this knowledge is not secure. Information can leak, can be stolen, deleted, forgotten or lost in many other different ways.
What are the common MANAGEMENT challenges?
Poor knowledge and learning management practices can also lead to management risks and headaches:
- No managerial access to and clear understanding of knowledge. Managers lack visibility of their employees’ inherent skills, knowledge and experience. This leads to an inability to allocate proper personnel for open position, to identify the best candidates for succession planning, and to assess employees’ knowledge level and capabilities, i.e. lack of testing and metrics
- Training & up skilling becomes difficult. Equipping new employees with the right skills, and making information available for newly filled positions can be a complicated, inefficient and time-intensive undertaking without access to the right knowledge, especially for highly specialized or complex skills environments.
What are the common STAFF challenges
With a limited or difficult to access knowledge base, your staff won’t be able to perform at their optimum:
- Reduced productivity. Staff are generally less productive without the right skills at the right time, and excessive training effort leads to less time in productive activity
- Poor communication and exchange. Knowledge owners and trainees don’t have effective channels of communication
- Lack of a transparent training plan. It’s often not clear how training leads to skills and career development
- Lack of an interactive learning environment. Without a structured learning environment and purpose-built knowledge bases it becomes difficult to design engaging and interactive learning systems and compelling training materials.
A modern Learning & Knowledge Management System (LMS) provides powerful solutions to the challenges of managing company knowledge and employee learning. In the next edition of this whitepaper we will look at the ins and outs of selecting an LMS that meets your specific needs.