Let’s face it – companies invest more money in their employees than in almost any other asset they hold. And the longer an employee has been with a company, the more money has been invested in them. It’s a worth-while investment, to be sure. Companies would not survive without the abilities and expertise of their longest-serving employees. But as the workforce matures and older workers retire, they leave not only a gap in the workforce; they also take with them a great deal of knowledge and experience.
So what can be done about this inevitable progression?
Far-sighted companies have long recognized the need for knowledge transfer from more experienced workers to the newer members of the workforce. But they are just coming to recognize the benefits that a particular technology plays in this valuable transition. I’m talking of course, about workforce collaboration through Social Learning Management Systems (LMS). According to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, “Social learning can be a powerful tool in capturing and transferring tacit knowledge, especially when it is intertwined with the daily flow of work.”
By making social learning a part of the workflow process, a company can capture informal knowledge, sometimes referred to as tribal knowledge, and can document it for use by all employees. This cultural, job-specific knowledge transfer can be looked at as the equivalent of apprenticeship or mentoring of newer employees, only on a much larger scale. By capturing the experience of older workers, their tried and true – but mostly undocumented – practices can be made available to the entire organization.
So how does social learning work, and how does an LMS help?
A Social LMS operates as a repository of information, but also as a searchable database. As with other social media interfaces, it can act as a platform for discussion forums, but it can also keep a record of those discussions to be used later as training tools.
An example of a Social LMS that performs all of these functions and more is TOPYX®, a new concept in LMS systems. TOPYX is different, in that it provides all the features of a standard LMS, but uses a secure, cloud-based technology to deliver the solution. It also provides award-winning features for collaboration, all in a flat-rate pricing model; allowing your company to grow into this dynamic system without having to pay any additional costs.
Before your company’s best assets walk out the door, are you doing all you can to capture their valuable knowledge and skill? Implementing a Social LMS to retain this critical information is easier than you think. You can even get a customized LMS demo to see how this social learning tool can help your organization.
Vice President, Business Development