Market disruptions, job hopping employees, knowledge loss, and lack of engagement. How does peer-to-peer training solve these problems in your organization?
When your company uses peer-to-peer training, you gain many advantages.
- Your company is more agile.
- Your employees are more engaged.
- You no longer have to worry about institutional knowledge loss.
- Your organization and product knowledge is always current.
Agility results from peer-to-peer training’s breakdown of knowledge silos. Team members use a central content creation system to share their unique individual knowledge. This allows the rest of the team to access important information on demand.
This on demand access increases team success by keeping everyone up to date. This knowledge bank gives individuals tremendous opportunity for personal growth and development. These growth opportunities make your team more engaged in the organization.
And that engagement matters. You want your team engaged and happy, because every time you lose a team member it costs you money. You lose skills and knowledge, and you have to invest in replacement training.
Let’s take a look at why peer-to-peer training works.
From traditional training to knowledge sharing
Traditional employee training is only created by your training team. This system works for general employee on-boarding and HR material. Beyond a few tweaks from year to year, the content probably remains the same.
But there is another type of knowledge, and it’s very important to your success. It’s the knowledge carried by individuals in different departments across your organization. Knowledge that is often sequestered in the heads of your top performers.
Why is this important?
A firm only gains sustainable advances from what it collectively knows, how efficiently it uses what it knows, and how quickly it acquires and uses new knowledge. (MIT)
How does your training team preserve and redistribute this knowledge? Through an organized program of knowledge sharing.
Corporate trainers have important content development and instructional design skills. These skills are perfect for overseeing a robust peer-to-peer training system.
Peer-to-peer training utilizes the knowledge of everyone in the organization. Knowledgeable employees share their expertise and experience on a central platform. And trainers oversee the process, ensuring best practices in design and delivery.
How does peer-to-peer training help you?
Getting rid of knowledge silos
Think about the teams in your organization. They all have specific knowledge – knowledge that is important to your success. Product development, sales, support. Each team has internal subject matter experts who keep things running smoothly.
These internal subject matter experts (SME’s) have information that benefits the entire organization. Sales and support teams have information beneficial to the product development team. The product development team has knowledge that can help sales.
Cross pollination of information benefits everyone. Yet these SME’s find themselves put in silos.
Priorities, time constraints, and technical limitations all prevent knowledge sharing across teams. And it’s even worse if different teams use different software. Then team-specific file formats stifle sharing.
A cloud-based peer-to-peer learning system breaks down these silos. With the right platform, team members can collaborate on content from anywhere.
And getting everyone involved gets them engaged.
Engaging your subject matter experts (and everyone else)
Only 32% of U.S. employees consider themselves engaged in their work.
That’s the average. The larger the company, the worse it gets. Companies with 1000+ employees have the lowest engagement rates [Gallup]. This lack of engagement is bad for business.
The top quartile of engaged businesses substantially outperforms the bottom quartile. Here’s how the top compares to the bottom [Gallup]:
Now consider this:
59% of young employees want an opportunity to learn and grow. That’s a staggering number.
Sharing internal SME’s knowledge provides opportunity to these growth-minded employees. They become more engaged, and that’s good for business.
Preventing institutional memory loss
But what happens when people do leave?
People are going to retire or move. And unfortunately, job hopping is the new normal. Roughly 6 in 10 millennials in the workforce are open to changing jobs [Gallup]
Companies change, too. They reorganize or merge. Again, people leave.
And when people leave, the knowledge they carry leaves with them. Unless your organization records and redistributes it. Capturing your SME’s knowledge is crucial.
Empower your corporate training team to collect and save this knowledge. Use a company-wide process of peer-to-peer training. This creates a central knowledge bank everyone can access as needed.
The newest members of your team get up to speed faster. They have the opportunities for growth and development they crave. And because they’re engaged, they’re less likely to leave.
Keeping product and process knowledge current
Products, services, and processes are developed and released so fast it’s hard to keep up. This means getting a large organization up to speed is a never-ending challenge.
In person training and workshops still have value. So do all the fundamentals of instructional design and solid content creation.
The problem is that employees lose around 90% of what they learn [Salas, WSJ].
You can’t expect them to memorize everything. Your team needs continuous access to information when the training is over. When trainers oversee a team-led knowledge sharing organization, that’s exactly what they have.
Your internal SME’s are continuously updating information. Product and process knowledge is always current. And employees have a knowledge base they can access any time.
Now your organization is on its way to becoming agile.
Peer-to-peer training for agility
Let’s say you release a new product line every season. There will be new designs, new features, and new benefits. Your sales and customer success teams need an easy way to get up to speed on these products every quarter.
How do you do that? An email? You can’t put interactive diagrams, videos, slide decks, and audio in an email. And how do you guarantee everyone understands the benefits of the new product line? You can’t put tests for understanding in an email, either.
You need direct feedback to know your team is ready for the rollout.
Even if in person training is an option, remember: your team is going to forget 90% of the training. They still need access to the new information after the training.
It’s easy with a peer-to-peer training system. Product team members add their knowledge, collaborating in real time. Then, the training team ensures the proper structure of the material and adds value with appropriate reinforcement exercises.
- Detail the new products in a series of micro-lessons
- Distribute the micro-lessons to relevant team members
- Determine stakeholder understanding through quizzes or other interactive assessments
Businesses face a unique set of problems in the 21st century.
Market disruptions come from all directions, and are quick to undermine your position. Your success depends on fast reaction time.
Job hopping is the norm for a younger generation of employees. Losing employees causes knowledge loss in your company. And, you lose time and money training their replacements.
Then there’s workplace engagement. Now more than ever, it’s an important factor in employee satisfaction. Yet only 32% of U.S. employees consider themselves engaged in their work. [Gallup]
What’s the solution?
Build an organization with a strong approach to knowledge management and knowledge sharing. Here’s what happens when you do:
- Prevent institutional knowledge loss when employees leave.
- Allow your internal subject matter experts to shine, keeping them engaged.
- Keep everyone up to date on company products and processes.
The net effect? Your organization becomes agile. And this agility helps you overcome obstacles.
Today, things move fast. New products and services are always on the way. Agility helps you maintain a competitive advantage by enabling rapid response to change.
Create that advantage with peer-to-peer to learning, and oversee a cultural transformation in your organization.