The progress of an organization depends greatly on its practices to share product information with its employees i.e. the knowledge sharing culture. Employees need to have a thorough understanding of both, internal and external products, to be at their best. Internal products are the ones that departments in an organization are using to perform their daily duties e.g. CRM, database, productivity software, etc. External products are the creations of the company that it sells to its customers.
If you want to get the most from your sales, customer support, and marketing teams, you have to make sure that they understand those products thoroughly. How fast they learn the product depends on whether the culture in your organization promotes learning or not. Here are some of the best ways to create a culture at your organization that promotes quick and effective learning.
There is nothing that makes learning more effective than hands-on training. Paper-based manuals and instructional documents are the common tools to train employees on a product. On the other hand, you can give them hands-on training and let them grasp the concept within minutes.
Things appear much more difficult to understand in theory than they do when you can touch them physically. Moreover, it is not always the fault of the learner if he is not able to understand a concept. Sometimes, it is the explainer or the writer of the instructions who is not the best at simplifying things for the learners.
Humans are able to retain visuals much better than they are able to retain any other format of information. That’s why companies are keen to create images, GIFs and videos to explain products to their teams these days. If you cannot give them hands-on training of a product, the next best alternative to that is video. Keeping all the training documentation in text-only format is unappealing for the teams, and also slows down the learning process.
It is noteworthy here that incorporating your presentations with visuals gets more attention from the listeners and viewers. The fact that the human brains can process visuals 60,000 times quicker than they process text should be enough to convince you to convert your product information into visuals e.g. images, animated GIFs, videos, etc.
Another best way to share knowledge across every department in an organization is to introduce take advantage of a knowledge sharing platform. Knowledge sharing platforms let you share product information in virtually any format i.e. video, audio, GIFs, still images, etc. The best thing is that a knowledge sharing platform acts as a productive tool for the organization. While companies can create instructional manuals and training videos on their products and share them on the platform, it is the input from the employees that makes these platforms useful.
The users of the platform can share their feedback in the form of videos, images or text-only documents and add valuable content to the knowledge base. They can even give real-time feedbacks and talk to each other to give birth to a workplace culture that’s free of any bottlenecks in communication.
Creating the documents from the feedbacks and questions of your teams will not be enough. You will also have to make those documents accessible for anyone who can benefit from them. Doing so is possible with the latest digital tools that act as organization-wide solutions for sharing training materials, instructions, FAQs, etc.
You should make sure that you make all the information available to the learners and not just the outdated documents. A trainer can only know so much about a particular product or service. It is the people who use it on a daily basis who can give the most valuable feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of the product.
The world has seen the concept of online communities and support forums becoming a reality as open-source became more famous. These online support forums are a great way for companies to create expansive repositories of knowledge pertaining to their products. These online forums can be a lot of help not only for the internal employees but customers as well. In fact, many large companies use online forums to answer technical questions about their products and services, and turn customers into loyal customers by helping them with issues that might be exclusive to them.
Workshops can be a great way to educate employees as well as customers on a product or service. The best thing about workshops is that you have an opportunity to interact on a personal level with everyone. You can create visual presentations, provide hands-on experience with the product, and take advantage of technologies like virtual and augmented reality to make your workshops more effective.
You can always decide for how long you want to conduct a workshop. If you have a lot of employees and a complex product to explain, you can make your workshop week-long. The best way to make a workshop effective is by handing a packet to the attendees that contains information about the product. Once again, you should not stick to the conventional paper-based text-only handbooks only. Be creative with the items in your packet so people have a reason to look at them.
When it comes to sharing product information with your teams, the only aim should not be to train them well. In fact, one of the aims has to be to reduce the training time. Moreover, your teams should be able to access instructional documents, training materials, etc. easily and instantly. With a non-traditional software-based strategy, organizations can overcome all the issues with traditional approaches to train teams on new products.