How companies can turn their employees into teachers

Mats Nemelka , Advisory HR Solution Consultant EMEA @ Servicenow

Mats Nemelka, Advisory HR Solution Consultant EMEA @ Servicenow


Information has never been so accessible. When you imagine that a human being today has more power than the US president 20 years ago. From everywhere at any point in time it is possible to search information, or to message someone who may sit thousands of kilometres away. The internet has changed our lives and the world is changing even faster. We are just at the beginning of an era that will be shaped by self-driving cars, machine learning software and intelligent robots. If companies want to keep up with all of this they need to leverage, even more than ever, their employees and the knowledge every single person has, and to make knowledge sharing one of their prime imperatives. 

A great example for this is Udemy. Udemy is an online learning market place that gives each and every person who has something to share the possibility to create a video course and have others learning from their experience.  Denis Panjuta who is one of the leading instructors from Germany gives his thoughts on Udemy: “Udemy makes learning very easy, you can do it from wherever you are and the quality of the content is just impressively good.”

In every company there are these kinds of people who carry a lot of knowledge with them and also these who want to share their experiences and knowledge with others. But most companies are still relying mainly on expensive instructors. Don’t get me wrong classical on-site training still has its place, but can it really keep up with the fast changing environment we are living in? 

It is time that companies unleash their employees and give them the chance to share their knowledge with their peers. Mentoring programs are one thing but often limited to a small group of people. Offering an internal learning market place where an employee can turn into an instructor and have his content shared with a wider audience will make knowledge all of a sudden available across the organization.  This market place should be a platform where a subject matter expert can simply create an article or publish a video about a topic he is currently working on or he has a deep interest in.  

LinkedIn started out with such a feature by the beginning of 2014 and has since seen a huge increase of professional stories written by millions of people. We are already used to this kind of knowledge sharing and knowledge consumption in our private lives; now it is time that companies also change in the way they define and deliver learning today.

Companies will see many benefits from this besides the obvious that company relevant know-how is being shared amongst the workforce, it also increases employee engagement provides a platform to advertise their broad spectrum of experience to others.

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