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Using KM to Onboard and Train Agents Remotely

knowledgeMany of us don’t make the most of our existing tools and instead reach eagerly for a shiny new one. However, the software you already have often can serve other purposes. Knowledge management, for example, can be a good training tool. Here’s how you can get the most out of your existing KM solution and better onboard and train agents remotely.

While a full-fledged Learning Management System (LMS) is clearly the best solution for larger organizations, it may be overkill or involve too much internal politics or costs. I don’t claim to have the perfect solution, but I can show you how to do more with your existing KM software and even improve a few things along the way.

Onboarding is about meeting relevant people, understanding your role, and learning how to do it. Since employees will use your knowledge base for nearly every call, email, or ticket, it’s one of the most crucial tools to learn first.

You can kill two birds with one stone by creating a series of onboarding guides within your KM tool. Even if you don’t have a KMS which includes e-learning, you can still create your materials in it and link directly to actual content.

The advantages include:

  • Creating a digital onboarding guide that can be reused at scale
  • Training in the same system agents use daily vs. an LMS they use quarterly
  • Incorporating existing support content directly into your onboarding materials
  • Making use of decision trees for step-by-step processes such as setting up accounts, software or even just HR processes
  • Taking advantage of built-in self-service features to accomplish tasks
  • Automate document creation, approval, and review

So, let’s dive into how to do it:

Step 1: Digitize or Migrate Existing Documents in your KMS

Start with any outstanding physical documents you’re using for training and onboarding and digitize them, but do so directly in your KMS, not MS Word. Doing so offers advantages such as:

  • Creating editorial and approval workflows
  • Getting instant document-specific feedback
  • Having analytics to see how documents are used
  • Turn step-based instructions into interactive decision trees

Step 2: Import or Create Multimedia Material

When a new employee starts, they’re motivated and ready so make sure your training materials are engaging. Onboarding can be tedious for all involved, so take the opportunity to make it great by:

  • Incorporating multimedia material into your documents (images, videos, gifs)
  • Using multiple document types, including interactive ones
  • Avoiding long walls of text
  • Adding quotes from existing employees with tips and experiences

Step 3: Use Decision Trees to Model Onboarding and Training Processes

Most KM systems offer decision trees which you can use to onboard new hires in several ways. These include:

  • Troubleshooting problems that new hires have with software/hardware or administrative things in the beginning
  • Create scenarios with a customer problem and have them use specific decision trees to work through it and find the answer
  • Walk employees through processes like setting up a VPN, requesting credentials, filling out timecards etc.

Step 4: If you have built-in E-learning, Use it

If your KMS does offer built-in e-learning features, then you can create even more comprehensive courses, tests and more.

Step 5: Encourage & Incorporate Feedback

Instead of using a generic survey or email request, take advantage of the built-in feedback capabilities of your KMS for each document. This enables new hires to immediately leave specific feedback on each document that will automatically go to your editorial team. Speaking of which, it’s time to give someone in HR editorial rights, and to create specific workflows for your onboarding documents so they can make the changes directly. This way nothing falls through the cracks.

Summing Up

Modern KM systems can help agents of all skill levels onboard and train faster. In addition, a good KM system improves the overall process by digitizing, analyzing, and scaling it. Stop using your tools in a vacuum and get the most of your KMS by using these tips for onboarding and training.

Topics: Coaching And Quality Management, Onboarding, Knowledge Management