By: Greg DeVore on May 24th, 2023
What Knowledge Transfer Problems Can a Knowledge Ops Solution Solve?
In today's fast-paced business environment, organizations are constantly seeking innovative ways to streamline processes, optimize performance, and enhance their team’s capabilities.
And a lot of that comes down to how well an organization can transfer knowledge to its employees and customers.
As CEO of Screensteps — a knowledge ops solution — I’ve talked to many companies that deal with costly mistakes, time-draining training, and unachieved KPIs. And it’s because they have a knowledge transfer problem.
Something is keeping them from passing knowledge from their experts to other employees and/or customers. This inability to transfer knowledge efficiently is causing them huge problems and prevents them from achieving their goals.
These companies need to transfer knowledge faster and a knowledge ops solution can help.
This approach goes beyond traditional knowledge management, focusing on operationalizing knowledge to drive tangible results.
In this blog post, we'll explore five common knowledge transfer challenges and how a knowledge ops solution can help you resolve these issues.
Knowledge ops key term definitions
Here are quick definitions for some key terms in this article:Knowledge Operations (knowledge ops): Behaviors and technology that you use to transfer knowledge.
Knowledge Ops Platform: A knowledge transfer tool that helps you transfer knowledge more quickly. This includes knowledge base tools for capturing, updating, and delivering digital guides (not just help articles); tools for delivering courses as part of new hire training; and tools for notifying employees about changes in information or procedures.
Find & Follow: A framework that when combined with the right technology gives you a systematic way to transfer knowledge quicker.
Knowledge Ops Solution: The combination of software (a knowledge ops platform) and behaviors (the Find & Follow Framework) that results in faster knowledge transfer. This faster knowledge transfer decreases training times, reduces mistakes, and improves employee independence.
Problem 1: Employees ask supervisors too many questions
A common problem in many organizations is employees bombard supervisors with questions. This hinders the supervisor’s productivity.
As a supervisor, you are responsible for building strategies, setting team goals, and supporting your team members.
When supervisors constantly need to stop what they are doing to answer employee questions, it prevents them from completing important tasks and thinking strategically. Employees shouldn’t need to frequently ask questions to complete their day-to-day tasks.
Knowledge ops solution: Create independent employees
Reduce the burden on the supervisors by creating independent employees. Teach your employees to work independently. A knowledge ops solution can alleviate this issue by helping you:
- Identify frequently asked questions
- Ensure answers are findable, followable, and scannable in the knowledge ops platform
- Train employees on how to find and follow these guides
By empowering employees to access information independently, supervisors can focus on their core responsibilities and how to improve the overall efficiency of the team.
Problem 2: Employee training takes too long
How long does your onboarding take? How long does it take for new hires to reach proficiency?
Lengthy training times can be a significant roadblock to productivity.
When it takes three months to train new hires and then another three months until they reach proficiency, it costs your company money. It is taking two paychecks (paying the trainee and the trainer/supervisor) to support that new hire.
Knowledge ops solution: Accelerate the training process
Training doesn’t need to be a drawn-out process when you are training to help new hires DO something and not training to KNOW (or memorize) things.
A knowledge ops solution can streamline training by helping you:
- Analyze training content to identify essential information
- Separate foundational knowledge (background information) from actionable knowledge (tasks and problem-solving)
- Create digital guides for actionable knowledge
- Train employees to use these guides effectively
Those steps follow the Find & Follow Framework. For more information on this framework and how it works, download our free new hire training eBook.
Implementing these strategies can dramatically reduce training times, enabling new employees to become productive and independent more quickly.
Problem 3. Tasks take too long
Does it take a long time for employees to complete tasks?
Your tasks can be time-consuming for different reasons. Maybe it is a complex procedure that has many steps or decision points. Maybe it is difficult for employees to remember every step of the process.
Or maybe it's difficult for your employees to find the guide they need in your system. They spend minutes searching, opening, and closing folders in search of the right guide.
Another possibility is your guides are difficult to read. They are stuffed with information and they give your employees headaches when they try to follow them. Employees spend too much time trying to decipher what the guides are instructing them to do.
Whatever the reason, your employees are taking longer than you expected for them to complete tasks.
Knowledge ops solution: Boost task efficiency
When tasks take too long to complete, it's time to find ways to support employees and help them spend less mental energy. A knowledge ops solution can assist by helping you:
- Analyze the process in question and identify why it is taking employees a long time
- Provide employees with checklists or decision trees for guidance
- Optimize digital guides so they are easier to read and follow
These tools can help employees navigate complex or lengthy processes more efficiently. It can reduce task times by 25-70%. Those are actual results our customers have achieved as they've made these adjustments.
Problem 4. Employees are inconsistent in how they handle procedures
You have no universal way to perform a procedure. Every employee handles a procedure differently. That means the knowledge transfer process is tribal.
There is no consistency in how you handle a procedure in your company. In customer support services, that means customers are receiving inconsistent service and inconsistent advice on what they need to do.
Knowledge ops solution: Optimize processes for better performance
Optimizing a process can be challenging when employees follow different procedures or rely on supervisor assistance. To overcome this hurdle, you approach the challenge with knowledge operations by:
- Creating digital guides, such as decision trees or workflow articles, to help employees work independently and consistently
- Use these guides to adjust and fine-tune processes for rapid optimization
By ensuring employees can work independently and consistently, process optimization becomes more achievable. This drives better performance across the organization.
Problem 5. You can’t scale your team
When you hire new employees, it takes a lot of time to train your new hires until they can work independently and consistently.
If employees go through training and are still dependent on your supervisors and team leads, then you don’t have room to scale your team.
If you are training a large new hire group, you don’t have the manpower to train and supervise employees who are reliant on their supervisors. It just creates more work for your supervisors.
You need to be able to transfer knowledge from your trainers and supervisors so that your employees are independently productive.
Knowledge ops solution: Train employees to find and follow digital guides
Scaling a team can be difficult if employees are unable to work independently and consistently. With a knowledge ops solution, you can resolve this problem by:
- Implementing a Find & Follow Training Program that encourages independent and consistent work
- Leveraging digital guides to reduce reliance on supervisors and faulty memory
This approach allows for easier team scaling, as employees become more self-sufficient and capable of handling their responsibilities.
Incorporate knowledge ops in your knowledge transfer strategy
All of these business struggles come down to one thing — knowledge transfer.
Knowledge operations offer a powerful way to tackle various business challenges and improve overall outcomes.
As a knowledge ops solution, ScreenSteps helps you optimize your knowledge transfer process by improving your digital guides and training strategy. With ScreenSteps’ Find & Follow Framework, companies have shortened training to 30 days or less as well as improved performance metrics.
Want to learn more about how a knowledge ops solution can help your business?
See where you can use knowledge ops in your company to improve knowledge transfer and optimize operations by checking out the Knowledge Ops Maturity Model.
The Model helps you evaluate your knowledge operations as well as see how you can improve your knowledge transfer strategy.
If you know knowledge ops is the right approach for your company, talk to our experts about how ScreenSteps can help you incorporate knowledge ops into your business strategy.