Imagine a young engineer starting her career. Coincidentally, his office assignment is adjacent to a subject matter expert with a lot of specialized knowledge in the same career guidance area. Over the years, the young engineer tackled specialized subjects, well above the level of her limited experience, thanks to the proximity of the experienced SME. The ability to ask that colleague quick questions easily turns into in-depth discussions on a topic.
In this way, industry knowledge is passed down over the years. The young engineer is able to advance his career faster than normal because of this connection to the workplace.
Not all engineers have such strong support networks, and many organizations experience a constant wave of retirements and resignations, opening up large gaps in employee knowledge networks.
Digital Knowledge Networks (DKNs) can complement an organization’s knowledge network and help fill gaps by systematically capturing, preserving, delivering and analyzing relevant information. Although DKNs have wide applications, let’s focus on three: training, libraries, and instructions.
Traditional teaching in organizations takes place in an in-person class with an instructor. However, some are turning to virtual training modules to better capture and preserve instructor knowledge.
“Just in case training” is a catch-all category for information the individual might need at any given time. Virtual trainings – usually 3D experiences that can be run on a laptop, desktop or more advanced hardware such as virtual reality headsets – allow students to immerse themselves in the working environment. Information about the different pieces of equipment can be integrated into the 3D environment by the instructor and viewed by the students. This may include photos, drawings, cut sheets or other related resources. As students explore the virtual environment, knowledge is actively imparted to them. Tracking and analysis can also be applied to see which students might need additional training or which sections might need fine-tuning based on the time required.
Virtual training recordings provide a snapshot in time of a company’s knowledge. They can be updated, but that would require generating and capturing new knowledge.
“Just in time training” is what happens in the moment to keep organizations running smoothly on a daily basis. This less formal process tends to encompass interpersonal interactions between employees, crossing workplace relationships and acquaintance networks.
For organizations with many field employees, just-in-time training can be challenging. SMBs can be hours or miles away from an employee in the field who has a question. Remote expert video calls can help, allowing field workers to call remote colleagues with see-what-I-see video streams, such as those offered by platforms like Librestream, a leading provider of reality solutions. increased. It does more than answer immediate questions; it also saves organizations on travel costs and project time. These just-in-time training moments can be recorded and captured for use in training other employees, strengthening DKN.
Active Knowledge Libraries
A simple to use knowledge library that can be easily searched and used across an organization provides tremendous value. It is much more than a folder system for storing training records. All types of knowledge, not just video calls, can be uploaded, tagged, and versioned in one central location.
Indexing and accessibility are the keys to unlocking the value proposition. How many employees have had the experience of receiving training and then losing that knowledge because it was stored in a random personal folder whose location is quickly forgotten? The centralized and searchable DKN keeps this information at the fingertips of employees.
Digital work instructions
A third product of an effective DKN is employee support through digital work instructions. More than just a step-by-step process, these instructions incorporate knowledge from the Active Knowledge Library. Once a common question is preserved from a video call, that video and other related content can be added to work instructions as reference materials. This completes the knowledge cycle: taking a just-in-time training moment, preserving the knowledge, and then transmitting the knowledge through updated work instructions.
Beyond feeding the DKN, analytics could be applied to data generated from a work process to help identify whether employees need additional training just in case, depending on whether they take much longer than the average employee to complete a task. This amounts to virtual training modules.
Because virtual training modules are a snapshot in time, they must be kept up to date. To optimize a DKN, these virtual trainings must be integrated and updated, with the newly generated knowledge kept in the active knowledge library.
In conclusion, digital knowledge networks have great potential to help companies achieve efficiencies and help employees advance their careers. They do not replace the wisdom of experienced SMEs; they give this wisdom an extended life by capturing it and making it widely accessible. As the wave of retirements and resignations from the organization continues, DKNs are ready to help the next generation of employees learn and benefit – digitally – from the experience of their predecessors.
Training can be long and repetitive, but augmented and virtual reality platforms can immerse trainees, increase engagement, and improve knowledge retention.
#Complement #workplace #connections #digital #knowledge #networks