As the importance of intellectual capital continues to grow, so too will the need for knowledge management. With the brutal sense of competition currently spreading through the business landscape, easy access to job-relevant knowledge has become a means for increasing chances of survival. The right information stored in the right place could enable a member of your sales team to deliver a perfect sales presentation. It could also enable your workforce to adapt seamlessly around new technology. eLearning does more than simply dispense training — it affords knowledge-hungry workforces access to important information and a variety of reference materials. It is also an opportunity for a workforce to share their expertise and nurture communities of knowledge.
The benefits of knowledge sharing are numerous:
- Encouraging innovation by promoting the articulation of ideas.
- The communication of company values and a vision for the future.
- Fostering a better understanding of market positioning and the customer base.
- Improving customer service.
- Streamlining operations, expanding skillsets and enhancing revenues.
- Affording recognition and value to employee knowledge.
The need for a connected, systematic approach to organisational knowledge should be a major area of concern for any forward thinking business. eLearning and knowledge management are fast friends. Both attempt to improve individual, team and organisational performance by disseminating knowledge. Taking advantage of the potential for an LMS (Learning Management System) to act as a knowledge share is a great opportunity to boost the return on investment (ROI) of your training campaign.
A study involving 182 sales teams seeking to attract new client contracts within a management consulting company, found that the teams that utilised advice and expertise from their workmates produced higher quality work and finalised more contracts than those that did not (Martine Haas, M. T. Hansen, 2007).
Creating a culture where knowledge sharing is the norm is not easy. Knowledge is often stored at an individual level as employees try to engineer personal advantage. A bright salesperson may not wish to share his winning techniques for fear that they will drop down the rankings and no longer be considered top dog. Unless a collaborative culture is encouraged, an effective knowledge share may well be an unachievable goal.
But what better place to encourage knowledge transferal than through a Learning Management System? It is a great place for workmates to talk about their experiences, log effective practices and offer tips to their colleagues. The social learning potential of eLearning offers personal recognition to those who are good at their jobs and willing to offer their expertise. An LMS grants your workforce a voice and a chance for self-expression. What’s more, adopting a system that rewards users for sharing can provide ample motivation for individuals to disseminate their knowledge.
Whilst it is possible to share experiences in the classroom, eLearning offers a knowledge share on a much grander scale. It is a fantastic opportunity to grow your ROI over time and build upon what is already a cost-effective and efficient training campaign.