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How You Can Gain Knowledge From Your Employees

June 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 193

Gaining employee knowledge

As the employer you invest a lot of time and money to train them in the ways your organisation performs its activities. When that knowledge is transferred to the employee an amazing process happens where they compare all their previous experiences with your knowledge to see if they can discover a better way to do it.

This is the knowledge you want back, the newly mutated and transformed knowledge, and you want all of it. So how do you go about it without scaring your employees?

Have you tried asking them, what they know?

Make it a common practice where you will arrange a small group of employees to attend a knowledge workshop with and your managers. Ensure that you have plenty of paper and pens.

Then start the workshop by telling them to solve a very difficult problem your organisation might have in the future or has now. Then stand back and make notes of what knowledge is raised.

Sit down with them and ask them how or why they made that change to your business processes. Most employees will be delighted that you are interested in what they know.

Throw out the rule book

Arrange another workshop with groups of employees and tell them that you want them to review a part of the operational procedure manuals. Then give them a copy each of the selected procedure and tell them to write any changes they have made in the workplace to this procedure.

Remember you must;

  • Let them know that no one will be disciplined for any breaches of company procedures written in their drafts or discussed.
  • Tell them that you really want to make the procedure better for them as well.
  • Consider a reward for their help. Extra time off or a small reward is suitable.
  • Let them discuss anything and don't interrupt the workflow
  • If they move onto other procedures let them, but take notes as well

Officer for the day

Useful as a reward and professional development strategy for key employees to maintain their job enrichment. This is a knowledge strategy I have learnt from my military service.

Have a competition with all your highest performing employees by getting them to write a recommendation paper outlining how they would improve your business if they had a budget of $10,000 or $100,000 depending on your revenue base of course. They don't actually get this budget, its purely a 'what if' scenario.

For any successful strategies they recommend and that you decide to implement provide the employee a reward and recognition suitable for the workplace. Let all your employees know you value their knowledge.

The employee that had the best recommendations you let them take your position for the day or of their manager. You or the manager will still shadow them to provide support and a safety net where appropriate, but let them perform as many of the actual tasks as possible to see what they would do differently than you.

Use the time with them to ask why they believe certain things about the workplace and its procedures. Challenge them to see what they would do in your shoes and find out their reasoning, the knowledge they used to make that leap of innovation.

Overall I have found that employees often love to let you know what they think will improve their work procedures, if only the managers would take the time to listen to them.

Knowledge management is just the formal process of listening to your employees and making sure someone writes down what was learnt by all involved.

Information supplied by Paul Baker

Over twenty years of business development & change management strategies successfully used in National organisations across Australia. The focus is on continuous improvement of business systems to stimulate growth through our principles of Initiate, Inspire, Innovate.

Customer-centric focus using our extensive experience in consumer behaviour and business process operations to find ways to help business owners manage their organisations.

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Source: EzineArticles
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Knowledge Management


Transferring Knowledge


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