Earlier this blog featured a guest post by one of our master consultants, Stacey Dickinson, on Goodyear Tire’s “The Trout’man Award,”which illustrated a terrific example of company management embracing our knowledge transfer process and pushing for results by recognizing measurable employee success. I have a similar story to tell from another of our great clients.
A major U.S. manufacturer is using The Steve Trautman Co.’s (STC) 3-Step Knowledge Transfer Solution to prepare for and smooth the implementation of a new ERP system, as part of a global modernization and consistency effort. This implementation—a multimillion dollar undertaking—comes with many change management and employee learning challenges. We began our work with this Fortune 500 manufacturer by helping them prepare for a rollout at one of their largest plants earlier this summer. Already, new roles and tasks at this large plant are clearer and anxiety is lessened compared to this stage during a previous EPR rollout at a much smaller plant last year (their initial rollout) without using STC knowledge transfer.
Instead of taking a traditional, one-size-fits-all, classroom training approach—which is time-wasting and failed at the first rollout—the client has been successful using our 3-step knowledge transfer process to quickly develop ERP accounting “super users”—a team of about 20 trained and tested employees that can teach others and act as front line support to handle questions and problems when the ERP system goes live. This knowledge transfer approach takes the weight off the three experts who had to teach and address issues during the rollout. Now, every day new skills are being learned by the right people at the right time. And, this client continues to set the bar on embracing the STC’s Knowledge Silo Matrix (KSM) color system for tracking knowledge transfer success.
For example, in August the plant’s accounting team members who were tagged to become super users all decided to wear something purple—the color of expert (“mentor”)—on the day of their Skill Development Plan assessments with the ERP experts. Fantastic employee engagement! I’m happy to report that they all passed their test. And then, this client took their engagement and teamwork one step further:
Today the plant’s super users are teaching and assessing regular users who are tasked with becoming green—the KSM color of proficiency (“able to work independently”)—on every assigned ERP skill that is part of their job role. When a regular user successfully “turns all green” the plant’s Controller sends out a congratulatory email with a special picture to the entire department. See the Controller’s email below for a great laugh:
It has come to my attention that in my haste to celebrate [Employee Name’s] greenness, that I may have missed some others who have also got their green on…since we don’t have timestamps to declare an official “first.” I will celebrate them as well.
Congratulations to [M.], [A.], and [J.]!
If anyone else is green please let me know. I have lots more pictures from my last family reunion to share. — J.S.
SUMMARY: Here’s a knowledge transfer best practice: management drives toward knowledge transfer results by measurement and recognition of team wins. Learning that is observable, valued, and credited reduces team risk and builds employee engagement. Here, this client gives us another example of how managers can have a little fun rewarding knowledge transfer progress and still accomplish the serious business of ensuring accountability to goals.