Title: Does Your Company Have an Insurance Policy on Knowledge?

I posed this question to one of my clients last week and they gave me a perplexed look. What does insurance have to do with training, they asked? Everything, I replied.

Consider how much time and money your organization dedicates to upskill staff. It’s equally important to create infrastructure to contain the knowledge so that it doesn’t get lost. This strategy is imperative if you want to scale your business.

We hire top talent because certain individuals carry specific expertise. As you rely on experts to train your workforce, keep in mind that they can leave. Documenting that knowledge becomes your backup and acts as an efficient way to transfer that know-how to future employees and larger audiences.

Organizations possess various methods for sharing knowledge, such as lectures, role-plays, and workshops. These should not be considered as one–off instances but a framework for building ongoing training. If you have only one subject-matter expert for a topic to rely on, then you have placed limits on the amount of knowledge from that field that can be transferred to other learners. By documenting the content, new learners have a way to register and internalize the information. It inevitably becomes a mechanism for training the trainer.

Having content chronicled on video or an audio recording makes it easier to formalize curriculum. When an instructional designer is ready to create eLearning content or mobile learning, among others, it’s more efficient to have a pool of data to source through rather than work around colleague’s timetables.

For instance, you may currently have one individual within your organization who delivers training on how to operate your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. The next time that individual is delivering a formal or informal training to new hires, encourage the individual to record him/herself. While there might be other people who are familiar with managing the CRM, you want to capture the updated knowledge that your expert has in operating the tool.

The concern is always the quality of the video or audio recordings. Think of video or audio documentation as a first draft rather than the final. The sole purpose for the document is to collect content, save it onto a shared drive, and eventually transfer it into a specific format to be banked.

Insurance is a promise that if something goes awry, you will be taken care of. You owe it to your business to have an insurance policy on knowledge.