Beating the silo trap

Finding and sharing knowledge is an organisational imperative as explored at the Learning Technologies show last week

Bringing the conference speakers to the exhibition floor has become part of the Learning Technology show each January and this year a variety of speakers met with visitors to discuss some of the topics under discussion in the conference.

Edward Gallier from Jurys Inn joined the TJ team and visitors on Wednesday 28th January to talk about his initiatives aimed at knowledge sharing in his organisation. The hospitality industry has particular issues in reaching its employees to ensure they have the skills to meet the demands of their customers and Jurys Inn is no exception. Two years ago they invested in a learning management system to provide basic and mandatory training but recognised the quantity and quality of knowledge within the organisation and decided to take a radical step by making everyone in the organisation responsible for learning.

By identifying subject matter experts known as ‘knowledge champions’ Gallier was able to provide and disseminate best practice across the business. He used the example of coffee making where baristas were encouraged to share their experience and skills through short video clips delivered through the online system – these were then discussed during short sessions with team leaders.

As most staff were not desk based the content was delivered through a variety of web-based devices – tablet, mobiles and PCs. Team members would have a short meeting called a ‘huddle’ at the start of their shift to discuss problems and this provided team leaders the opportunity to talk about resources on the platform that would be available for the employees to access to improve their skills and knowledge on the subject.

Access to the online resource which is called Grow has increased dramatically over the past year, with 50,497 logins and 28,805 course completions – an average of 14 courses per employee a year. This learning engagement has improved consistency of service, saved money and reduced staff turnover.

Gallier offers the following tip for those aiming to improve knowledge sharing:

  • Identify credible sponsors for the site early. You don’t need to win over everyone at the same time!
  • Don’t overlook the need for face to face engagement when establishing online systems. Launch in tranches and share success between tranches
  • Make any online system accessible to ‘all’ employees – PC, Tablet, Mobile, at home and at work
  • Spend time supporting and facilitating operational managers to create and package content
  • Use incentives. Tie in knowledge sharing to successful L&D progress and rewards.


Debbie Carter

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