Every company has one of them. For some companies, it’s the 20-year-seasoned sales vet at your company who has seen and conquered every objection thrown at your company. For others, maybe its the back office support representative with years of experience and has ‘seen it all’ from your customers. Either way, there is likely someone at your organization that is universally known as the person that if you have a question, they’ll likely have the answer. Why is that? Because they have seen, heard, and been a part of every situation imaginable for your organization.
These people are a wealth of information and knowledge and are the source of answers for many of your and your co-worker’s questions. So, why do you let that knowledge stay in there head? The most common excuse is that getting that person to sit down and translate that knowledge from their head to a document is too time-consuming and, frankly uninteresting for the person with the knowledge.
However, this is short-sided thinking, as there is no guarantee that person won’t be gone within a month, and the last thing you want is to be scrambling to get that information from them. So, how do you solve for this problem? You could force this person to sit down for a week and write everything out, but we feel that recording a video or audio interview is a faster and more effective way to get training material from those folks.
How do you go about doing this? Here are a few steps you can follow:
1. Layout a plan
Before you start the interview, it’s important to develop a plan of what information you want to get from this person. Create a list of topics you know the person has knowledge of and take those with you. I’d caution to hold too close to an exact list of questions though, as doing so may prevent you from discovering some additional nuggets of knowledge gold that you wouldn’t otherwise discover.
2. Conduct the interview
Now that you know what you want to talk about, I’d recommend going with the interviewee somewhere away from either of your offices so that there are minimal distractions. Set up a recorder, get a glass of water, and just talk. Some people will get nervous knowing that they are being recorded, so keeping it lighthearted and relaxed will produce the best results. If you have a lot of content to cover, breaking your interview down into two or three shorter interviews will likely produce better results.
3. Translate into lessons
After you’ve got a recording of all the information you want, you’ll have a couple options in terms of translating that knowledge into lessons. The first is to leave the information in audio/video format and just break up the knowledge into sound bites for relevant training sessions. This method is the quickest way to get the interview into training material, but can make it difficult to refresh quickly as a lesson taker. The second option is use a service like Speechpad to transcribe the content into text and then break it up into lessons. There is a cost typically associated with this route, but it gives you the benefit of quick translation to lessons and also easy refreshing for lesson takers. The third option is to listen to the interview and summarize the thoughts captured in a lesson you create yourself. This method can take a little longer, but often produces some of the best training content you can get.
Regardless of how you transcribe your interview, you can quickly add them as lessons in your Lessonly account, as we accept all types of media in our lessons.
The knowledge inside some of your senior employees is some of the most overlooked training content you have. Don’t mistake and wait until they are gone before you realize the training knowledge they carry.