It’s becoming more common for companies to invest in learning management systems or a wide array of other cutting-edge training programs. But a recent survey suggests these companies might be overlooking one of the most valuable training resources at their disposal: their own employees.
In fact, “The vast amount of information shared amongst employees is not being captured, and expensive training programs and traditional learning management systems aren’t tapping into the best resource available to employers: their employees. This means when employees leave so does their valuable knowledge,” according to The Untapped Training Resource: Employees, a survey report released by speachme, a microlearning and peer-to-peer knowledge transfer platform.
The survey suggests that organizations should be leveraging internal knowledge to enhance their training programs. Nearly one-half of participants indicated that they could improve the content of the training they are provided, but 58% said their organization does not give them the tools to create their own training content.
Many survey participants are willing to take on that challenge, with one-quarter saying that they want to be recognized for their skills and expertise by being given “more responsibility and/or the opportunity to train others.”
Although important company information is being shared informally by 82% of employees, it is not being formally captured, the survey found. As a result, much information is lost when an employee leaves an organization. Employers can take steps to mitigate this phenomenon by documenting procedures and information and having departing employees train their replacements whenever possible.
The survey suggests that there is room for improvement in that area. Most participants (61%) reported that a colleague had left their company with knowledge or skills that were not documented. In addition, 68% indicated that they have never received training by the individual they were replacing, and 49% said they have never trained their replacement when they were leaving a position.
“Today’s top-down approach to training is not effectively addressing the need to capture and transfer knowledge among peers,” said speachme Chief Executive Officer Najette Fellache. “We live in an age of user-generated content, but training programs are not tapping the opportunity for employee-generated content. The insights we gained from today’s workers shows that a bottom-up approach to capturing critical skills and knowledge that employees hold and transferring [those skills and knowledge] to others can benefit not just companies’ knowledge base, but [also create] better informed workers.”