How is knowledge an advantage for organizations and employees?
Making sure employees have access to the knowledge they need for optimal job performance is critical to the success of any organization. From onboarding, to job training and cross-training, the ability to disseminate knowledge is key to promoting business growth and meeting organizational goals. However, the advantage of knowledge is only a benefit when it’s well organized and easily available and accessible to employees.
“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”
- William G. Pollard
Physicist, Author, Episcopal Priest
Employees are hired based on their potential to perform. It is the responsibility of the organization to guide new talent to the right resources so the employees they’ve invested in can realize their potential within the organization.
Every company has procedures and situations that are unique to it. Part of the onboarding process is to help new employees become aware of how things work in your organization. It is a delicate balance. If too much information is shared at one time, important pieces can be missed or forgotten. However, if not enough information is provided to new hires, it makes integrating into the organization more difficult.
For example, describing the promotion process on day one to a new employee won’t help them acclimate to a new work environment. However, showing them where everything is, showing them where to find answers to questions they will most likely encounter, providing them with personal contacts they can call if they don’t know where to look for answers, is the kind of knowledge that will be more of an advantage for them.
Continuous job training is a great opportunity to get the right information to the right people. What is typical for employees is to understand the basics of a job, but not to have a grasp of the exceptions. Learning why exceptions occur and how to deal with these exceptions provides an excellent opportunity to expand your employees’ knowledge of their duties. When employees aren’t encouraged to look beyond their basic duties to the intricacies of their profession, opportunity is lost. Offering regular, on-going training courses that expand on basic knowledge leads to greater comprehension of the business, providing a platform for employees to shine well beyond their basic duties. The key is the right information, at the right time. Understanding the basics must come before tackling advanced concepts.
Another great way to promote premium performance is cross-training staff members. When employees know more than one job it enhances what they already do. They see how their performance integrates with other positions to reach company's goals.
Ongoing training gives employees an advantage across the board. Employees knowledgeable about different organizational areas and how their work impacts other areas of the organization, are often good candidates to promote to team leaders, or supervisory and management positions.
These employees will benefit from learning opportunities that provide instruction on how to develop leadership qualities, such as how to make informed and effective decisions and how to coach, lead and mentor others. This gives your employees an advantage in the workplace and your company an advantage in the marketplace.
Providing additional information and making it available to employees at all stages of employment – new hires to long term employees -- helps guide their development so they can help the organization grow and thrive, and realize their own potential. It is the organization’s responsibility to be sure training information is relevant, understandable, and targeted to the individuals who need it.