How to Become a Find & Follow Organization (3 Essential Changes)
What is your biggest challenge with your business?
As I’ve talked to hundreds of companies across the world, they all have similar complaints. Training and employee performance are two of their biggest headaches and problem areas.
When we first started ScreenSteps, we were just focused on documentation. We wanted a fast and simple way to make documentation that helped people do things. We assumed that better documentation would equal better training and performance.
But it didn't. At least not at the level we had hoped for. Organizations would make modest improvements. Things were a bit easier, but they still struggled with training and performance.
We realized that to really solve the training and performance problem, it wasn't enough to have a better tool or better documentation. We needed to completely change the culture around how knowledge is captured and used.
We tested different strategies and techniques until ultimately we developed the Find & Follow Training Framework and the concept of a Find & Follow Organization.
Becoming a Find & Follow Organization involves a different way of thinking and working. It takes discipline and work — but that is all worth it. We’ve had one call center save 85% of its training budget while improving employee performance metrics across the board.
To keep it brief, becoming a Find & Follow Organization can help you reduce training time, improve employee performance metrics, prepare your team to adapt to change, and reduce stress for everyone.
If you think you are ready to make the switch to becoming a Find & Follow Organization, this blog is for you.
In this blog post, I’ll first reveal three essential changes your company needs to make to become a Find & Follow Organization. Then I’ll go into how you can make those changes, including three components of Find & Follow and what your first steps will be.
3 essential changes your company will need to make
First, you need to be able to accept change. And you need buy-in from everyone in your company. From the top down. To become a Find & Follow Organization you need leaders and employees who are committed to following the Find & Follow directions and principles.
You can implement Find & Follow one team at a time, but you will definitely need buy-in from the leadership to make this happen.
These are the main changes your company will need to undergo to become a Find & Follow Organization.
1. Changes in beliefs
Most likely, you have preconceived ideas about what employee training should look like.
If I were to guess, that training involves lectures, memorization, and quizzes. Chances are you think your employees need to become experts at every procedure and all-knowing about every aspect of your company.
Let go of that belief. Those training beliefs are holding back your productivity.
To become a Find & Follow Organization, everyone needs to shift their beliefs.
Supervisors need to believe that employees will perform better when they don’t have to memorize information. Also, they need to accept that employees will work faster when they use digital guides than without.
Employees need to believe that supervisors want and expect them to rely on digital guides.
Trainers need to believe that teaching less information will create better outcomes, meaning employees will be better prepared to do their jobs.
Of course, we don’t expect you to snap your fingers and let go of all your beliefs about how employee training should be. The Find & Follow Training Framework helps ease everyone into the new training approach so that they feel confident and comfortable with the learning process.
2. Changes in technology
Using Word Documents, PDFs, and Excel files aren’t going to cut it anymore. When it comes to documenting your procedures, you need a cloud-based technology solution that is agile to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of your business.
To get the full benefits of Find & Follow, I recommend using knowledge base software. A knowledge base allows you to create interactive guides. These dynamic guides will be central to your employees’ day-to-day work.
Beyond a standard article, your knowledge base should allow you to create interactive checklists and decision trees. These types of guides will help your employees properly handle complex procedures and troubleshooting situations.
The technology you choose needs to allow you to:
- Create clear step-by-step guides
- Quickly update content
- Organize resources
- Optimize search
- Track usage with user analytics
- Iterate quickly
3. Changes in operations
The final change you’ll need to make to become a Find & Follow Organization is a change in operations.
Supervisors need to require (and reinforce) that employees rely on digital guides. That means they use the guides for every procedure every day. You don’t want your supervisors answering questions or jumping in to help.
You want supervisors directing employees back to your knowledge base articles.
Since your employees will be relying on digital guides to do their work, the training team will need to stop trying to cram information into employees' heads. Instead, they will train them to find and follow the digital guides as they complete tasks, respond to requests, answer questions, and solve problems.
Another shift is in how you’ll communicate policy and procedural changes. Instead of emailing or messaging your team, you’ll first add the process changes to the digital guides. Then you will introduce your employees to the changes.
This will allow you to better communicate changes to policies and procedures. They will be immediately available to your employees (maybe even before you send out your change announcement).
How do you bring about these changes in your company? (3 components)
Every Find & Follow Organization has three key components. The Find & Follow Training Framework helps guide your team through all of these changes. It also helps you create the necessary assets and strategies for these components.
1. Create a single source of truth
First, you need a knowledge base or other software solution that centralizes your knowledge. The software needs to provide you with tools to quickly create, store, and share digital guides.
Once you have the software, the real work begins.
This starts with hosting a Find & Follow Planning Workshop, which will help align your training and operations teams. Together they will discuss what they need employees in a specific role to be able to do coming out of training.
When this workshop is over, you’ll have a list of:
- Knowledge base articles you need to write
- Foundational courses you need to create
- Practice activities you need to run>
Your digital guides will be the core of your training program and of your employees’ day-to-day work. Create digital guides that are findable, followable, and scannable. These guides will live in your knowledge base.
2. Train them on how to use it
Once you have your digital guides organized in your knowledge base, you are ready to plan and create the training portion for your Find & Follow Training curriculum.
Find & Follow Training is different from traditional training in that it emphasizes hands-on experiences over memorizing information. While traditional training is typically 90% lecture and 10% practice activities, Find & Follow training is 10% lecture and 90% practice activities.
For training, you’ll prepare two assets: foundational courses and practice activities.
3. Continue to optimize your knowledge base
One key to a Find & Follow Organization is they keep on going. After the knowledge base is launched and training is complete, they continue to optimize their content.
They provide a feedback loop so end-users can provide feedback on the digital guides.
They have a plan in place to certify that digital guides are up-to-date with accurate information. They frequently update digital guides. And they continue to add new digital guides as they identify knowledge gaps or have new products/services.
How to build Find & Follow Training curriculum
For more in-depth instructions on how to build and run a Find & Follow Training, download our free new hire eBook and watch our free on-demand webinar. The Find & Follow webinar breaks down building a Find & Follow Training curriculum from planning to developing to launching your training.
Taking the first steps
Are you ready to become a Find & Follow Organization? Here’s a quick rundown of how to get started.
1. Start with one team
To become a true Find & Follow Organization, you need the whole company to use the Find & Follow methodology. However, you can achieve Find & Follow Organization status within your own department or team.
Everyone gets started somewhere. Choose one team to try out the Find & Follow Training Framework.
2. Identify a Knowledge Champion
The first step is to identify a Knowledge Champion. Your Knowledge Champion will lead and own this project. It’s their responsibility to ensure the continued health of your knowledge base and all your assets.
3. Run the workshop and build the resources
Hold a Find & Follow Planning Workshop with your team. Use the information you gather during the meeting to create your digital guides, foundation courses, and practice activities.
Download this free content planning workbook to help you track the assets during your meeting.
4. Launch one team
Launch your knowledge base and Find & Follow Training with one team. Don’t expect perfection the first time around. Take notes so you can make improvements.
Before launching, make sure you collect metrics on your past trainings (i.e. how long training takes, how long it takes for new hires to become proficient, etc.). Track metrics on this training. You may be surprised at your results.
5. Rinse and repeat
Once you’ve done it once, you can make minor adjustments and expand it out to another team until you’ve implemented Find & Follow throughout your entire organization.
Is Find & Follow right for my business?
Need help deciding if becoming a Find & Follow Organization is the right next step for your company?
Talk to our ScreenSteps experts. Our experts can help you determine whether a Find & Follow approach would work for your business.
If you think you need additional help becoming a Find & Following Organization, you can sign up for coaching services.
Our expert ScreenSteps consultants can help you with everything including running your workshop, building your content, and launching your knowledge base and training.