The first thing many organizations mention when asked why they balk at the idea of information sharing between employees is that they aren’t able to monitor what’s shared as closely—a “resource” could be posted in the employee forum for hours, or even days, before management notices and corrects the information or takes it down entirely. Unless the organization has room in the budget for someone to constantly monitor the community network within the LMS, it often becomes something that companies put on the back burner.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to continue to work (if it even worked in the past). Employees want a collaborative learning culture and it’s up to you to give them that in every way that you can. Part of that includes promoting and improving knowledge sharing among all levels of employees, leadership, and even other key stakeholders.
How, specifically, can organizations make sure that the LMS information sharing is done thoughtfully and with accurate content? There are a lot of different suggestions and best practices, including starting by creating the right mindset and formalizing the process by which employees can share information and engage with their peers.
Start New Hires Off with the Right Mindset
This is perhaps the best thing that companies can do. In the onboarding and training process, it’s important to impart the right mentality in new hires from the start. That way, it’s more likely that they will provide value-added content more frequently and with less need for oversight because they believe in the learning culture and want to be a part of it. Encourage learning and sharing as part of the onboarding and development of each employee and watch how quickly the sharing becomes a regular occurrence.
Encourage Knowledge Sharing but Lead by Example
This is an important caveat: lead by example. If you encourage knowledge-sharing, you should also engage in sharing and collaborating with other management-level peers or supervisors, as well as employees themselves. Leading by example means taking the time to share resources, being excited about learning opportunities, and promoting a constant willingness to learn as one of the best assets that you can have in an employee—because it is. Make learning and sharing knowledge social, take advantage of internal SMEs (subject matter experts) and their ability to educate others, and give people accountability and ownership.
Have a Formal Process
Sharing knowledge is only going to be effective if you have a formal process for doing so. Otherwise, it could become a free-for-all that’s not only not helpful, but that could work against your organization. A formalized process ensures that the organization won’t lose valuable experience and insight, as well as to retain knowledge from other sources and create a process for sharing it, and choosing a platform that allows for easy gathering of expertise in real-time.
The biggest complaint of most employees is that an organization’s resources are held by individuals, not a knowledge base, and there is no formal documentation process in place. If these things did exist, it would be safe to assume that employees would feel like their information sharing is much more successful and useful.
Monitor Sharing or Assign Someone to Do So
Organizational leaders don’t necessarily have the means to sit on all forums and discussion boards and watch the information employees share. In some instances, they don’t even have the time to check in periodically—it’s just another task that needs to be done but that takes valuable time and resources. That’s why it benefits organizations to hire someone specifically to moderate and facilitate discussions in the employee space. They can validate resources, confirm the information shared, and help weed out bad resources or information that is out of place in the LMS.
The good news is that organizations that foster the learning mindset from the start will have less monitoring to do because people will understand what and how to share, and they will be less likely to exploit the system for personal communications or worse, complaining collectively about LMS content.
Put Your LMS to the Test
Organizations that want to gain the best engagement from their employees need to ensure that the LMS platform is built with collaboration and communication in mind. The right tools can save a lot of time and effort. AI-powered resources are becoming part of everyday operations for modern business. Create an LMS that not only works to train and educate your employees, but also encourages collaboration, discussions, and the sharing of information and resources.
If your current LMS makes sharing difficult, it might be time to reconsider your platform. If and when you do, make sure that you take each one for a test drive and see how it stacks up in all areas, including the resources and tools for information sharing among employees and leaders within the organization.
The LMS is a Dynamic Resource: Use it Accordingly
In the past, learning management systems and training modules were often static resources, or limited in what they could do at best. After all, companies often sought only the resources that they needed, and at the most affordable cost. It would make sense that they’d stick with a platform that does just enough without breaking the bank. The good news is that you no longer have to compromise.
The modern LMS is a dynamic resource that allows your employees to learn, share, and engage with the organization in a variety of ways that are beneficial to all. Without the right setup and approach to information sharing, it may be difficult to create an effective system or process for the entire company. Current research says that 90% of employees are interested in being able to share knowledge and collaborate more, especially in light of the increase in remote work.
Organizations that succeed will be the ones that deliver those resources to their employees to reduce the skills gap and increase the collaboration among teams, even if they’re spread throughout the globe. Take advantage of online learning and the right LMS platform to start having greater production and an overall increase in the quality of your organization.