Knowledge management: Capturing quality as it comes in

HRzone
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Most organisations have induction training for new recruits, to pass on some of the company's shared knowledge, but should this process be more of a two-way street? HR Zone member Rich Lucas recommends spending a little time discovering the breadth of employees' knowledge.

Knowledge management can be done in two ways; codification (recording information in the form of training modules, manuals etc) and training and development (to pass on that knowledge).

Most organisations these days are quite good at managing knowledge in general because many have their processes mapped out and technical information all noted down in defined training modules.

Some, on the other hand, seem to be missing a trick, particularly if they have an active influx of staff coming into their organisation on a regular basis.

I used to work in a call centre where our style was very much: "We know the business and we'll train them in our way." Some of the time, it worked, but what we failed to realise (myself included) was that as well as the vast amount of knowledge we already had, there was also a lot more that we were unaware of still coming in to the organisation.

Particularly in industries such as call centres, where employees tend to do "the circuit" of working in numerous different centres, people amass a much wider knowledge base and wider world view than an internal individual could ever hope to. Rather than just merely trying to cram more information into a new start, perhaps we can look at what we can draw out too.

For instance, this can be on the job at hand, the training and experience they have had elsewhere, or drawing on past experience.

This not only empowers the new start and makes them feel valued, but it also gleans some potentially vital information and knowledge that can then be codified for the benefit of all.

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