There’s no denying organizations pour a large amount of time and resources into training new hires, but have you ever stopped to calculate just how much? According to the Association for Talent Development’s State of the Industry Report, organizations spend an average of $1,208 per employee and 31.5 hours per year on training and development.
Knowledge management is about capturing, distributing, and archiving intellectual capital in a way that encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration in the organization, and this type of learning makes a world of difference to successfully training new hires. That’s why better knowledge management is crucial. Make sure your money is well spent and commit to a better knowledge management system (KMS) that empowers methods for more effective training.
Easily Find and Track Information
Make it possible for new employees to quickly find the information they need, the moment they need it. If a new hires asks a question that has never been answered, post the question to the whole department. When you have a KMS that stores every question, document, and discussion, employees will go there to find what they need without having to ask.
Not only is it important for your employees to have access to information at their fingertips, but it’s also important to track which content is getting the most engagement, views, or likes. You can see what content new hires find most useful, how long they spend in the content, and which new hires are contributing. Analytics is critical to show you what information is most valuable to your new (and current) employees.
Increase Social Collaboration within Teams
Think back to your first day on the job. Did you feel at all overwhelmed? For many, asking questions and speaking up can be quite intimidating in the initial weeks of a new position. By creating a group or community for new hires going through orientation together, you provide a comfortable space for new hires to ask questions and contribute with confidence, knowing they are all on the same learning track. This brings an extra level of social collaboration and extends training opportunities beyond the classroom. By setting a tone of acceptance from the start, you encourage engagement and participation in the future.
Let Employees Self-Serve
Give new employees a sense of independence by empowering them to easily search through company knowledge and find what they need. A KMS that enables new hires to help themselves benefits everyone. Look for the following features to help with this:
- Search Engine. Having a search engine inside a central repository allows your new hires to search for any training material you want them to see. They can bookmark certain posts and refer back to them as needed.
- Tags or Categories of Content. It can be helpful to new hires if everyone on your team tags the content they create, especially when it comes to training documents. New hires can use tags to easily find the content that will become their training manual during the onboarding process.
- Mobile Device Support. In today’s digital world, mobile-friendliness is essential. On-the-go, 24/7 access to information allows for flexibility and more control for employees.
Training and onboarding can be overwhelming for a new hire. An easy-to-use, well-organized knowledge management tool is necessary in order to foster collaboration for training and learning. A knowledge management system can allow all employees to work at their full potential by tapping into the knowledge of their coworkers.
At the end of the day, people are your most valuable assets. It’s important to make employees feel they are a part of a solid and supportive community. Investing in a better knowledge management platform can deliver a solid ROI for your organization. Ensuring that employees have access to quality training and onboarding materials from the start will save time and money by turning new hires into productive and confident members of your team.
This post was originally published on August 10, 2015, and has been updated to reflect current best practices.
To learn more, check out our eBook, “Knowledge Management and Training: Why Social Learning Works.” It delves into six methods for more effective training and why better knowledge management is so important in enabling employees.