Knowledge is power, and while it is crucial to acquire knowledge, it is critical that we retain what we learn. And even more critical is how we manage what we have learnt, and apply it effectively in our lives. The same can be said of the time-tested process of Knowledge Management, also known as “capturing, distributing and effectively using knowledge”. This discipline has proven essential to organisational growth, learning and development (L&D) and a productive company culture.
In the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes in how organisations run their businesses. To work around the many restrictions and regulations, many have implemented a hybrid learning and working environment. However, the new system is likely to encounter potential roadblocks and pitfalls if implemented incorrectly. For instance, do employees and learners have the right tools to work and learn effectively and efficiently from home? Do organisations have the correct tools to ensure knowledge is distributed to workers and learners scattered around the world, and summarily retained?
The Significance of Knowledge Management (KM)
Knowledge Management (KM) is critical as it supports the long-term preservation of organisation knowledge. The maintenance of your organisation’s knowledge is a strategic competitive advantage  in your organisation’s arsenal; it is also a strong indicator of good company culture. Managing your knowledge well will enable you to identify skill gaps quickly, which in turn allows you to tweak or enhance your L&D programmes promptly to close the gaps before they become issues later.
COVID-19 restrictions have led to a decrease in physical training sessions. A lack of correct learning and teaching tools may result in a limit to knowledge transfer, sharing, and training. Some learners might even have to take on larger responsibilities and initiatives to self-learn. With a KM system in place, you can streamline business processes and facilitate improved knowledge retention and sharing within the organisation. A suitable KM system is not only cost- and time-effective, it also elicits higher employee engagement as your operations are now more effective, and can lead to increased collaboration and communication in a hybrid working environment.
With four in 10 workers in Singapore preferring to continue working remotely rather than getting a bigger bonus, how can organisations go about making knowledge transfer, sharing and training smoother and more conducive process?
Let traditional patterns such as searching through email chains or bookmarking a website for a simple work procedure be a thing of the past, there are two systems that organisations should consider.
Learning Management System (LMS) and Learning Experience Platform (LXP)
Learning Management System (LMS)
A Learning Management System (LMS) is something some of us may have experienced before. An LMS is typically a platform used to conduct and assess a user’s training, and is widely adopted in many different organisations. Its popularity stems from the ease of planning, managing, and tracking a user’s learning journey through features such as automation and gamification, as well as analytics and report generation.
Learning Experience Platform (LXP)
On the other hand, a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) can be better thought of as a platform that allows users to personalise their own learning journey from scratch, offering a level of flexibility that an LMS may not be able to match. LXPs are also able to host a wider variety of learning materials and content.
The difference between both platforms is therefore where the control lies — the training team creates and delivers content through an LMS, while consumers have the ability to take charge of their own learning with an LXP. Hence, the objectives and end goals of an organisation will determine what platform is better suited to their needs. While both platforms are capable of generating data-driven analysis reports of the learning process, LXPs have a slight edge due to the wider range of data that they consider.
Welcome to the New Way of Learning
In a constantly evolving business landscape, an amalgamation of both LMS and LXP is the right way forward. Platforms that combine the two systems are changing the work from home (WFH) game right now, and are a major shift from the traditional way of delivering and distributing knowledge. With consumer-grade learning software supported by Artificial Intelligence, on-the-go learning across digital touch points (eg. desktop, mobile), and easy-to-use content creation, such platforms are transforming the way your employees acquire and transfer knowledge.
Making data and personalisation the priority of an organisation’s L&D will allow you to effectively manage digital disruptions that occur across the workforce. They also provide opportunities to enhance engagement with platform users by creating a more interactive, user-friendly experience. As a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), they also specialise in learner data-driven insights and recommendations, which help tailor the courses to each individual user’s speed and capabilities. From active and hybrid to passive and adaptive, the unique blend of LMS and LXP services allows for all types of learning.
1. Blended Learning
A type of learning that has risen in popularity over the past two years has been blended learning. This approach to education combines online educational materials with traditional in-person classroom methods. To enhance the benefits of blended learning, all you need is to tap on tools such as management progress tracking, rapid course builder, live sessions and interactive content. This will allow you to track the progress of your team, personalise your own learning journey and make collaboration seamless and fun.
2. Synchronous Learning
Synchronous learning refers to all types of learning where both learner(s) and instructor(s) are simultaneously in the same place, at the same time, in order for learning to take place. This includes in-person classes, live online meetings or sessions whereby the whole class or smaller groups get together. To encourage synchronous learning, LMS and LXP platforms offer a myriad of collaborative tools such as live sessions, communication forums, interactive webinars and chat-based discussions to facilitate group learning.
3. Asynchronous Learning
Asynchronous learning allows you to learn at your own schedule, within a certain timeframe, hence it requires effort and self-discipline. A proper KM tool such as bot assistance, course administration and advanced analytics helps you get on track and monitor your progress.
4. Passive Learning
Passive learning refers to resources that we read on our own with no external teacher. For example, passive knowledge in a work environment could refer to key materials that employers pass on to employees for them to function effectively, especially during onboarding. Implementing this into your KM tool enables you to automate certain passive learning tasks by delivering the materials on a timely basis and making them more readily available to employees.
5. Bite-sized Learning
Bite-sized learning, also known as microlearning, breaks down bulk information into small, manageable chunks instead of subjecting learners to long, uninterrupted sessions. Reminiscent of the Podomoro method, this is a highly effective way of learning as it promotes focus, encourages goal-setting and optimises productivity. Learning platforms help you with this as they allow you to personalise your learning, and keep you on your toes with engaging content.
These learning platforms are readily accessible on any portable device with online and offline functionality. This allows learners the convenience of learning on the go at their own pace, no matter their schedule or availability. In a bustling and fast-paced business environment, it can be difficult to keep up with learning on top of other responsibilities. Therefore, it is to our advantage that such learning platforms are readily available when we need them.
Does Your Organisation Have the Correct KM Culture?
KM is applicable not just to businesses, but also to any institutions that require the passing down of organisational knowledge. Having the proper tools, like Enabley, will not only stimulate learning but also foster the right working environment for employees and employers alike to prosper.
While technology and tools are enablers, they are not the solutions to challenges organisations face. What organisations need to consider in managing knowledge are these:
Does your organisation have the correct tools for KM?
Does your organisation have the correct KM culture that encourages your people to cultivate habits of learning and sharing knowledge to propel their personal and organisational growth to greater heights?
Here at aAdvantage, we specialise in culture transformation, along with the option of suitable technology as enablers of change.
For more information on developing a Knowledge Management Culture and/or for a free guided trial of Enabley, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline Gwee, Director and Founder, aAdvantage Consulting Group Pte Ltd
Jacqueline is Director and Founder of aAdvantage Consulting. She has over 25 years of broad-based human resource, change management and business excellence consulting experience in both the public and private sectors. Prior to founding aAdvantage Consulting, Jacqueline was with the consulting practices of Big 4 consulting firms focussing on organisational development and change management. Jacqueline has advised companies on best practices in organisational development and how human capital strategies align to support business success. Jacqueline currently leads the Research & Insights, Human Capital & Culture Transformation Solutions within aAdvantage Consulting.