Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Not Just About Training: 6 ways a knowledge transfer environment leads the way

Challenges facing the process industries today include:  changing workforce demographics; limited training resources; mounting regulatory compliance; and industry consolidation.  These challenges place new demands on the knowledge and skills workers need to perform.  In the heavily regulated and intensely competitive process industry, you can either keep playing catch up or you can lead the way.

Many process industry workers are reaching retirement age and taking their years of experience and know-how out the door with them.  Limited budgets mean hours available for training are reaching cost effective limits.  At the same time, process units and plants are becoming larger through mergers and new acquisitions, challenging an already strained workforce to establish enterprise-wide best practices and align corporate objectives.  The result is that organizations must rely on fewer or less experienced workers, often with less in-depth knowledge.

What you’ve been doing is no longer enough.  It’s no longer enough for workers to simply be trained and for training events to simply be documented.  You can’t meet the demands of the future by doing what was done in the past.  That’s why a traditional training paradigm will always leave you struggling to catch up.  Keeping ahead requires a thorough understanding of the knowledge each worker needs to reach peak performance – and a strategy that guides each worker to 100% proficiency.  This is a knowledge transfer environment.

Knowledge transfer addresses 100% of the knowledge requirements including site- and unit-specifics.
Unlike a traditional training paradigm where learning content is defined by a list of training requirements, a knowledge transfer environment defines specific knowledge requirements regarding units, systems, and equipment at the site.

Knowledge transfer is learner-specific, delivering only the content that learner requires.
A traditional training paradigm delivers training based on a job curriculum in a “one-size-fits-all” manner.  The curriculum cannot address the differences in each individual’s skills and experience, but a knowledge transfer environment prescribes a personal learning plan for each individual, based on identified knowledge gaps and proficiencies attained, creating a unique path to 100% proficiency. 

A knowledge transfer environment captures existing best practices, institutionalizing that knowledge.
Most companies already have core competency and safety training programs in place, but when job- and process-specific knowledge are necessary, the methods for training become less formal, and more inconsistent.  Without a consistent method for providing this crucial knowledge transfer, what workers know and don’t know is unclear.  A knowledge transfer environment captures best practices, process- and job-specifics, and standardizes content so that the knowledge can be transferred to an entire population and consistently meet learning objectives.

Learning content is specifically designed to transfer knowledge.
In a traditional paradigm, learning content is often reference material and procedures not designed for learning.  In a knowledge transfer environment, learning content is developed through proven instructional design processes for acquiring knowledge, focusing on changing behavior to achieve performance excellence. 

Evergreen content is available in an ‘anytime/anywhere’ learning environment.
In a traditional training paradigm, management must schedule learning and access to various resources including instructors, rooms, and materials, but a knowledge transfer environment allows on-demand learner-initiated access to evergreen content and continuous support online.

Knowledge transfer verifies knowledge acquired and certifies proficiency.
A training paradigm merely documents training events, while a knowledge transfer environment documents actual knowledge acquired through individual evaluations and certifies knowledge proficiency.

RDC: Leading the Way
For more than 50 years, RDC has been the leader in learning solutions for the process industries. Combining this industry experience and knowledge transfer expertise, RDC has developed KnowledgeWeb as a comprehensive knowledge transfer environment. RDC’s KnowledgeWeb solutions are used to address job-specific unit operations, core competency and mandated knowledge requirements necessary for safe and efficient operations in process plants at more than 500 sites in 40 countries.  A KnowledgeWeb solution optimizes the learning process by reducing time to competency and improving knowledge transfer effectiveness. 

Key benefits of a KnowledgeWeb solution that you can’t get with a traditional training paradigm:
  • Workers achieve 100% proficiency sooner
  • Knowledge gaps are identified and remediated
  • Captured and institutionalized workforce knowledge
  • Consistent Best Practices delivery
  • Performance Benchmarking
  • Behavior/Performance improvement
  • Documented Proficiency