How a knowledge base can cut employee training time?Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes
Training newly onboarded employees to showcase their highest potential is essential for business success. The success of any organization is tied to employee skill and performance, and gaps in training can prove detrimental. Even a seasoned new hire needs a certain level of training to get accustomed to the routine tasks and processes. Not only new employees but existing employees also need training when technology or processes change in the organization. Lack of training and development opportunities act as a hindrance in delivering employees their best. Training is a key area in a company’s development, and ongoing education is vital for improving employee retention.
Don't Let Training Drain Your Organizations Revenues
Training new employees is an activity that’s never going to stop. Organizations face multiple challenges in striking a balance between training quality and costs. In fact, organizations spend thousands of dollars on onboarding new hires and ever-growing training costs is something that is becoming worrisome for organizations. Organizing classrooms is a challenge, especially when staff to be trained is from different departments, with different schedules and learning abilities. A company spends thousands of dollars and employees waste a significant number of working hours going to classes. Often, the results cannot meet expectations.
Problems with traditional methods of training:
- A large number of geographically scattered audiences. Classroom teaching will require a huge training staff to provide training at different locations.
- Continuous technology or process changes, so the documentation needs to be updated and distributed to accommodate the modification.
- Finding trainers with experience and expertise of the same level.
- Budget restrictions that prevented the hiring of additional trainers.
Knowledge base tools can become an essential resource for training employees. A knowledge base is a bank of ready-to-go information, fact sheets, and other assets for trainers and other employees and can help an organization train new hires, without spending months and sacrificing the quality of information. It makes things simple and efficient, as everyone can access the information and learn at their own rhythm, without stress and frustration. Organizations often find themselves in a training dilemma when technology must be implemented quickly or when it will affect a large group of employees.
A Knowledge base can be implemented quickly, inexpensively, and often with existing technology tools, and it can be very useful for informal and on-the-job training needs. A knowledge base management system used to educate employees can cut down costs and get better results. Staff can learn at comfortable hours that suit their availability and no one is left behind because they can keep up with the rest of the team. While knowledge bases are common in large organizations, few small businesses spend the time and money to develop one.
Provides First Hand Information
Onboarding a new hire can take more than a few weeks, especially with extensive training programs. Many organizations conduct classroom training for new hires, expecting them to understand and remember every detail. Although classroom instruction is still popular, it has several downsides such as
- Inconsistency in the level of engagement
- Inability to grasp information in a single go
- Information gaps in delivery
Introducing a knowledge base can solve these problems for organizations by streamlining the training program. New hires can easily access information in a few clicks and consume information from anywhere and everywhere. All they need to do is to click on the relevant link and start consuming the training material. A knowledge base tool should also offer context-sensitive help to facilitate better understanding and glossary management, in case the user is unfamiliar with a term and needs a more detailed understanding of it.
Information Overload Reduction
Recently hired can get lost in an ocean of information, especially during those lengthy, never-ending training sessions. If the instructor needs to repeat something over and over for the sake of clarity, it can frustrate both parties. When you document training information in a knowledge base, you already have a fair idea about what to cover and whatnot. You know what’s been successful in the past and as you plan training material in advance, you can eliminate the fluff and put forward ideas that are succinct and easy to consume. Create short manuals, articles, and how-to’s for the new hires, so that they consume only what’s required to do the job and leave the rest.
Incorporating a knowledge base not only streamlines employee training but also fosters internal collaboration. New hires can undergo training right from their workstations. They can go through the entire training program before firing off questions to the instructor, something that can disrupt classroom sessions. When new hires have readymade access to training information, managers need not allocate separate bandwidth for conducting sessions. Being better prepared, new hires can let go of their apprehensions in attending live classroom sessions, making them more enjoyable and fruitful.
Geographically Independent Training
Location freedom has a direct correlation with employee training time. Every employee in an organization has different learning preferences. While some are comfortable learning in the office, many millennials expect learning on the go, sometimes from the comfort of their homes. Now, if your goal is to shorten training time, there’s no harm in a new hire completing their training from a home or office. A knowledge base ensures that new hires can get hands-on training anywhere. All they need is a computer or phone, internet, and knowledge base access.
Hiring never stops. Every time someone joins an organization, the onboarding process starts again. Conducting the same training sessions over and over can be emotionally and financially draining. Because of this, the odds of miscommunicating important information during live training sessions are high. Investing in a knowledge base can save time and energy while reducing the probability of inadvertent errors. As a knowledge base gives real-time visibility to training information, it can be constantly refreshed to meet the diverse requirements of new hires. Your knowledge management never gets obsolete and at the same time, the probability of committing mistakes in training is reduced to a minimum.
Stages of Knowledge Base Training
A knowledge base can be a highly effective, inexpensive tool when traditional user training isn't an option. Below are steps that will teach you how to create and manage a training knowledge base.
Knowledge Base Creation
Generate the database of employees who would take part in the training and plan the documents that would cater to their needs. For instance, add training documents to be provided to users when they will attend the training so that if a user could not get scheduled for training, they would have access to the detailed, step-by-step documentation.
Locating the documents in the knowledge base is valuable to the project’s eventual success because the information in the documents could be found nowhere else and are vital to productivity.
After the creation of a basic knowledge base, work on the following critical factors should be done:
- What content/articles be included in the knowledge base?
- Who would control or own which content?
- How frequently and in what manner content would be updated?
Information produced by technical trainers responsible for documenting system features should be placed in the knowledge base because technical trainers are attuned to the needs of the users as they provide the training classes and on-site tutoring. The technical trainers are subject-matter experts for specific features, so they should own all content related to their features. Whenever there is any change in company process or product documentation, the trainers change the training material so they should be made liable for maintenance and modification of knowledge base articles.
The next step is to communicate your knowledge base to the users. You can communicate it either in cross-team enterprise meetings or in company circulars so that all your employees get to know about the knowledge base and take advantage out of it.
Creating an Effective Online Training Course
Below are a few tips to create an effective online course in the knowledge base system.
- Pre-Assessment: Helps the lecturer gets to know the student and design the online training course to perfectly meet the learners’ needs.
- Designing Targeted Online Training Materials: Help the tutors target their online training content based on the goals, needs, and preferences of their learners. A great start is to create a target group and see what fits that group’s needs. As markets globalize, it is smart to consider looking into a knowledge base software that would assist in online training by letting you share content and materials related to training and development.
- Add Interactivity: The most efficient way to build skills and simplify knowledge transfer is by enhancing interactive elements. Create online training activities that involve real-world situations, challenges, and characters.