Knowledge management training can be considered as a specialized form of training that helps trainees and personnel to use and distribute existing information within their organization more efficiently. This training process further allows personnel to better absorb new or updated data from their colleagues with less effort and trouble, allowing them and the organization to handle information more efficiently.
Furthermore, by training personnel to handle new information, organizations will be able to promote a more proactive work environment that is conducive to both development and progress. It also allows different departments within an organization to coordinate their work, and avoid misunderstandings whenever problems arise with regards to existing or incoming data. In this sense, this type of training plays a very important role in organizations that value information and personnel development as part of their long term goals.
What Can Organizations Expect From Knowledge Management Training?
This training usually involves a combination of practical activities, effective theory and case studies to meet the following goals:
- Develop an organizational environment that encourages knowledge sharing between different personnel
- Put knowledge sharing theories into practice
- Apply knowledge sharing tools where they can do the most good
- Improve the use of information within the organization
- Use communication tools and technology to improve knowledge sharing within the entire organization
- Develop and implement a knowledge management strategy for the entire organization
What all of these goals add up to is the desire to create an effective system within the organization that is conducive to knowledge sharing and distribution. By establishing such a system, the organization allows employee training programs to function more efficiently, not to mention help its personnel develop better interpersonal skills in relation to their colleagues.
Examples of Knowledge Management Training Exercises
Since we’re interested in using knowledge management to improve personnel performance, it’s important to look at a few examples just to see what they have to bring to the table.
This particular exercise is most suitable for relatively large groups of people, and is best performed during breaks or lunch hours. To perform this exercise, the group will need to be provided with blank pieces of paper to act as “badges.” Once the participants are given their badges, they need to write on their blank badges a question that they would like an answer to.
The question can be anything related to anything that each individual participant likes. Just make it clear to them that the questions have to be serious and practical. A good example would be: “How do I present my ideas to my boss?” or “What is the dress code at the office during weekends.” On the other hand, questions about the meaning of life or sensitive topics should be avoided.
Once everyone has written his or her question, it’s time to start. Instruct the trainees/personnel to wear their badges throughout the break or lunch time. Basically, ask them to advertize their questions to their colleagues. They should also be instructed that whenever they see a question that they can help with, or know someone who can, then they should try answer or assist the person wearing that badge immediately. After the break has concluded, ask all of the participants about their experiences, and ask which of them received an answer to their questions.
After they have given their answers, ask them to share their motivations for answering the questions of their peers, and how a similar mindset might be applied in community forums and organized meetings.
This particular exercise is suitable for groups that consist of 15 to 20 people. To perform it, you will need a quiz book and Power Point. To get started, build yourself two sets of questions on power point. Once you have finished putting together your questions, ask for two volunteers to help you with the activity. Your task then is to ask your two volunteers the questions that you’ve put together on Power Point.
The catch, however, is that the first set of questions will go to the first volunteer, who will have to answer them using their own knowledge or personal intuition, while the second set of questions are directed to the second volunteer, who can “ask the audience” for help on each round.
Needless to say, this activity is heavily in favor of the second volunteer. However, this is the entire point of the exercise. By giving the second volunteer the support of the rest of the team, the trainees will learn how groups behave when answering a particular question in contrast to lone individuals.
The Secret Message
This particular activity is suitable for groups of 10 to 15 people. In this activity, you will need to think of a long sentence that’s very difficult to guess. Next, write one or two words of your sentence onto a piece of paper, and then distribute them to the members individually. Don’t worry about the number of words on each piece of paper. What matters is that everyone gets a piece of paper with one, two or even words on it. Also, instruct each member not to show his or her piece of paper to his or her team once they receive it.
Once all the members have their piece of paper, ask them to group themselves into pairs. Each pair may share their piece of information with each other. After a short amount of time, the group will have to form new pairs, and again, they have to share their information with their new partner. This process continues until one of the members or pairs guesses the entire sentence.
The goal of this activity is to help personnel appreciate the challenges of limited or inaccurate information. It also helps them appreciate the importance of partnerships when dealing with complex information.
Knowledge management as well as time management techniques, plays an important role in how knowledge is used within a particular organization. It assists managers and executive personnel to better handle existing information on all sorts of fields, and at the same time, teaches ordinary personnel how to share what they know with their colleagues without too much trouble. This allows them to handle new and existing information more efficiently, which of course, increases office productivity.
Perhaps the most important characteristic of knowledge management is that it can be described as a special type of personnel training. Like personnel training and other forms of employee engagement, this type of training is centered around personnel and their competency with regard certain areas. The only difference is that with regards to knowledge management training, the focus is on information instead of specific skill sets or items.
Further information is available on Knowledge management tools page.