8 Tips To Tap Into The Power Of In-House Subject Matter Experts

How To Tap Into The Power Of In-House Subject Matter Experts

You have a diverse group of individuals within your organization. They all have something unique to offer, such as past experiences and skills that can benefit the entire team. But are you making the most of peer-based coaching and information exchange? Or are you missing out on a social learning opportunity? Here are 8 top tips to tap into the power of your in-house Subject Matter Experts for online training.

1. Identify Your Top Talent With On-The-Job Evaluations

Before you can use in-house Subject Matter Experts to your advantage, you must identify who these Subject Matter Experts are. Which members of your company have backgrounds and experiences that can benefit their peers? Do any of them have skills or knowledge that are currently lacking from your online training program? One of the best ways to identify these key players is to conduct on-the-job evaluations. For example, invite them to participate in online simulations and branching scenarios to determine their strong suits. Then, figure out which employees exhibit the traits you’re looking for. Some may have the knowledge, but aren’t able to articulate it to others or take a leadership role.

2. Ask For Volunteers With Unique Expertise

In addition to on-the-job evaluations and online assessments, you might consider a more direct approach. Simply ask your employees to volunteer their services if they have the necessary qualifications. For example, a member of your customer service team may have a knack for compliance topics. Thus, they can clarify confusing company policies or help their peers earn health and safety certifications. You might even consider an incentive program. For instance, employees who volunteer receive a badge or additional in-course points.

3. Create Social Media Knowledge-Sharing Groups

Once your in-house Subject Matter Experts are on board, you need to provide them a platform to share their knowledge. Social media groups allow them to interact with peers in a more personal setting. They can upload helpful resource links, post tips, and answer questions on a regular basis. Online groups are also a great place to engage in lively chats about relevant training topics or challenges. Subject Matter Experts might even consider a closed group where membership is invitation-only. This allows them to control the group dynamics and foster a more supportive Virtual Learning Environment.

4. Develop An Mentorship Online Training Program

Mentorship online training programs give in-house experts the chance to work with co-workers one-on-one. Each expert is assigned an individual or team. They meet with their mentees on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the employees’ needs or desired outcomes. There may even be a training contract to hold the mentee accountable and set some ground rules. They can also use video conferencing tools and Project Management platforms to communicate and keep track of assignments.

5. Invite Employees To Host Webinars

If you want to disperse knowledge on a grander scale, a webinar may be the ideal solution. These live events allow in-house Subject Matter Experts to answer questions and share their experiences in a more interactive setting. They’re able to tell personal anecdotes and examples that tie into real-world applications, as well as clear up any misunderstandings that other employees may have regarding their area of expertise. You’ll need a reliable video conferencing tool to host a successful webinar. Also, create a guide that simplifies the process for your Subject Matter Experts. For example, recommend them to develop a script or outline in advance, and record the event for later viewing. Alternatively, host your own webinar and simply invite guest speakers who have in depth knowledge.

6. Encourage In-House Subject Matter Experts To Start A Corporate eLearning Blog Or Podcast

Another way to facilitate a connection between your in-house Subject Matter Experts and the rest of your staff is to encourage corporate eLearning blogs and podcasts. Ask your Subject Matter Experts to start a corporate eLearning blog that explores their strengths, or post a monthly podcast that offers helpful tips and tricks. They can also start a YouTube channel if they prefer, and create a new video for each sub-topic. For example, every week your staff can expect a new episode of their 'sales techniques' series. In addition, in-house Subject Matter Experts might consider an email newsletter. Employees can subscribe to receive monthly tips and advice.

7. Cultivate An Employee-Generated Online Training Library

Invite employees to create online training materials for the benefit of their peers. They can add these assets to your existing online training library. Thus, every member of your team is able to give and receive knowledge, which fosters a supportive learning culture. In addition, encourage departments to create their own resource libraries based on their required skills and tasks. For example, your customer service staff is able to focus on problem-solving skills and the product return process, while warehouse workers can concentrate on safety training and distribution protocols. For best results, take a microlearning approach to improve knowledge retention and provide "moment of need" support.

8. Collect Feedback To Improve Employee Participation

Are you making the best use of your Subject Matter Experts? Are there online training activities and social learning tools you may have overlooked? Collect feedback from employees to get them actively involved and pinpoint areas for improvement. Specifically, new or innovative ways that you can connect in-house Subject Matter Experts with employees who are in need. Conduct surveys and interviews to determine if employees are receiving the support they need. This also allows you to identify Subject Matter Experts you aren’t currently utilizing.

In-house Subject Matter Experts are a powerful source of peer-based support. However, they cannot bear the weight of the entire online training program. You must also have a sound online training strategy in place to bridge gaps and address individual needs. Then, integrate mentoring, peer coaching, and social learning tools to enhance the benefits of online training.

Are your employees willing to share their thoughts and opinions for the betterment of their peers? Read the article 8 Innovative Ways To Facilitate Peer-Based eLearning Feedback to discover innovative ways to facilitate peer-based feedback in online training.

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