The answer, of course, is subject matter experts. The basic idea: designate certain top employees to manage information on their topic of expertise.
Let’s look at how to find and leverage subject matter experts!
- Figure out what you want to accomplish
- Identify the “helpers” on each team
- Use assessments to verify knowledge
- Discuss the role with them
- Involve them in creating learning materials
- Provide the right tools
- Encourage feedback and innovation
Read more on each of these points below.
Figure out what you want to accomplish
Before you begin your hunt for subject matter experts, you need to figure out what exactly you want from them. For instance, they could assist with creating standards, writing onboarding materials, and helping when employees get stuck. Figure out which areas would benefit from having a subject matter expert attached so you can find the right person for the job and communicate what you need effectively.
Identify the “helpers” on each team
On each team within your organization, who are the people you’ll always see lending a helping hand? Who has a patient personality, a knack for teaching, and a solid foundation of knowledge? An excellent way to identify these people is to ask fellow employees, “Who do you ask for help when you have a problem?” If a lot of people answer the same name, they may be your new subject matter expert!
Use assessments to verify knowledge
Personal recommendations are useful, but before you assign someone a role with extra responsibility, it’s smart to verify their suitability with data. For instance, if you’re considering making someone an AutoCAD subject matter expert, you can have them take a KnowledgeSmart assessment through Pinnacle Series to see how thorough their knowledge is.
Discuss the role with them
Perhaps the most important consideration is whether the employee wants this role. If they’re responsible for helping others, you don’t want them feeling annoyed or distracted by new demands on their time! Or, if they’re not confident in their content creation abilities, see if they’re willing to learn and offer training.
Involve them in creating learning materials
Once you have identified subject matter experts who’ve agreed to take on the role, start them off with a few starting tasks. They could create a team onboarding guide, a custom course or tutorial, a set of “best practices” documents, etc. Take their input about what kinds of materials would be most useful to their team. What kinds of questions do they get asked the most, and what training could they create in response?
Provide the right tools
Just like people have different ideal learning styles, there are different ideal teaching styles too! If your SME wants to make videos, provide them with a good camera, video editing software, and programs to make illustrations or slides. Others might prefer writing, creating infographics, hosting a live event, or other ways to convey information.
Encourage feedback and innovation
You’ve chosen your subject matter experts for a reason: you’re confident in their knowledge and skills! Give them some freedom to shape the role into their own, with feedback from their team. Top performers tend to thrive when they’re given their own reins.
If you’re already using Pinnacle Series, log in now to start taking advantage of the platform’s subject matter expert and custom content features.
Not a customer yet, but curious to see how Pinnacle Series can transform the way your organization teaches and shares knowledge? Schedule a demo or pilot with our team today!