The answer to the title is simple. Two words – performance support. The execution however, is another matter altogether. You see most companies probably do have materials to support the performance of their employees: job aids, quick reference tools, FAQs, helpdesks, video demos, etc. Yet somehow the prevalence of these resources doesn’t necessarily translate to an actual improvement in performance. Because there is performance support, and then there is effective performance support. So what separates the champions from the chaff?
Or in other words, learning in the workplace happens because we have jobs to do; and we want to do them well and do them better. Consciously or unconsciously we learn when we’re immersed in our work: as we encounter problems or make mistakes that need to be rectified, in order to hit our sales targets or impress clients, in a bid to meet deadlines, win support from colleagues or champion new business initiatives.
How do we get employees to work smarter? If you were to say: “feed them more knowledge, equip them with new skills, and then upgrade these skills!” To that I’d say: “Yes indeed!” But if you’re looking for a new workshop or course to sign them up for, perhaps you want to divert your attention somewhere else instead.
Our years of schooling have seeded in us the belief that real learning takes place in a class or a similar training context. However, most of learning is informal. We didn’t learn how to walk from taking a class?! And naturally in the workplace, learning takes place informally as well. Through conversations at the water cooler, reading blog articles, discussions during meetings or talking to customers.
Companies today are looking for ways to develop their human capital effectively and efficiently in response to the rapid pace in which their competitive environments are changing. And in their search for a solution, the term “microlearning” would have shown up on their radar more than a few times. After all, the promise of microlearning is an attractive one – a training solution that is cost-effective, supports the rapid creation of training content, and delivers exactly what employees need.
Managing what employees know is a major factor to competitive success. And many companies have made valiant attempts at knowledge management (KM) in a bid to reap all the potential benefits. But in some instances, plans fall through, things go wrong and the KM effort fails to yield all the benefits that it could have achieved.
So how do you ensure that yours doesn’t fizzle out? Well first, be sure to avoid some of the common traps. Here are 8 pitfalls to avoid.