Effective Knowledge Transfer Can Give Company Safety a Boost

By Thomas Biles March 02nd, 2023

It may seem that elevated safety consciousness is ingrained in group captive member companies’ DNA. Achieving a truly safe workplace is a continuous process that’s not without challenges. One challenge is achieving knowledge transfer that positively impacts a company’s safety record. Without effective knowledge transfer, a captive member might suffer a loss in an area in which employees received inadequate training. A loss of internal knowledge might go hand-in-hand with employee turnover. Passing along risk-control methods to the younger generation might be particularly difficult. The list goes on.

During Captive Resources’ February Risk Control Webinar, Dr. Frantz Belot, co-founder and President of the employee training, communication, and engagement platform Tyfoom, defined knowledge transfer as sharing the right amount of information with another person to properly complete a task. He explained how “microlearning” can improve knowledge transfer.

Enhancing knowledge transfer isn’t a luxury for an organization. According to Belot, the costs of insufficient knowledge transfer are quantifiable with several metrics:

  • The gap between employees’ skills and employers’ required skills costs the U.S. economy $60 billion each year.
  • Only one person knows a company’s skills in 42 percent of cases.
  • New hires typically spend about 200 hours duplicating their predecessor’s work.
  • An inability to access unique knowledge is a source of frustration for 81 percent of workers; 63 percent prefer to work for organizations that preserve knowledge.

Based on these sobering statistics, Belot contended, webinar attendees should rethink their organizations’ knowledge transfers. Tyfoom’s area of expertise is showing organizations how to transfer relevant knowledge in simple, effective ways that increase retention.

Most Training is Ineffective

Belot said employers, which tend to blame their employees for subpar performance, need to focus on the quality of their communications. In contrast to common laments about underperforming employees, he said most are uninformed but don’t want to be.

Noting that training is the No. 1 way companies communicate with their employees, Belot contended that most training is ineffective because it is not relevant, timely, accessible, or engaging. Also, most employers try to convey too much information at one time.

Microlearning Captures Attention for High Retention

To counter the unproductive tendencies that most training has today, employers should strive to make sessions engaging, personalized, relevant, short, and accessible, Belot said. “Microlearning,” which breaks down complex jobs into short standalone tasks, checks all of these boxes. The best microlearning captures the trainee’s attention with just one to two minutes of easily digestible content in continual blasts. When well executed, microlearning can increase employees’ recollection of information. Moreover, when it is delivered in a way that increases retention, microlearning can help build a more productive, more efficient, and incident-free culture.

Belot stressed that video training is not a direct substitute for hands-on training, which typically is superior. Also, some technical topics (i.e., DOT, hazmat, etc.) require more time training in a classroom or are better suited to an online course. However, organizations should rely on more than one aspect of training. He said microlearning is a great supplement to knowledge initially transferred through another modality, adding that the accessibility of information near the task at hand is an advantage of microlearning.

Video Microlearning: A Powerful Knowledge Transfer Method

Tyfoom has learned that combining phones and video-based microlearning has inherent benefits that make it particularly suitable to knowledge transfer in today’s workplace:

  • Seventy-four percent of employees access resources on smartphones to do their jobs.
  • Seventy percent of employees prefer video-based learning.
  • Message retention from video is 95 percent.
  • Smartphone users complete training 45 percent faster.
  • Users are 72 percent more engaged training on mobile devices.

Consistency and timing are also important in microlearning and video lends itself to a steady training cadence, Belot said. Studies reveal that daily microlearning is drastically more effective for retention than training with longer intervals. Also, a high daily engagement rate ensures adoption and retention. Tyfoom’s research shows that video-based microlearning has the highest retention rate when it’s:

  • Personalized
  • Engaging and relevant
  • Bite-sized and narrowly focused on a specific topic
  • Available on demand

Training content delivered via Tyfoom’s platform that meets all of these criteria has a monthly engagement rate of more than 90 percent, Belot reported.

An intentional approach to improving knowledge transfer should be a big part of group captive members’ risk control strategies. Getting it right with consistent microlearning gets everybody in an organization on the same page in the effort to advance safety and reduce the total cost of risk.

About the Webinar

This presentation was part of Captive Resources’ Risk Control Webinar Series — regular installments of webinars to educate the group captive members we work with on topics like workplace safety, organizational leadership, and company performance. The thoughts and opinions expressed in these webinars are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect Captive Resources’ positions on any of the above topics.

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