Now we consider the third element that defines the total capability required for a position:
Knowledge is a broad category that includes any supporting information a person needs to enhance the effectiveness (productivity, quality or safety of the task performance), where the specific information fits neither into the task performance or skill category.
For a sales professional, knowledge of a company’s product line, knowledge of the market, and knowledge of a customer’s use of the product are essential, to enhance the sales experience for the customer. For other professionals, knowledge of human resource law, best accounting practices, organic chemistry or some other subject area allows them to perform their work.
For nearly all employees in all situations, there is some component of safety training. Nearly all safety training is knowledge development, though of course many skill areas overlap safety concepts (e.g., forklift operation as discussed as a skill).
Knowledge development is similar to skills development, in that an individual’s required knowledge should demonstrate a direct connection to the tasks and activities the individual will be performing on the job. In terms of safety training for an operations worker, a detailed review of each task to determine safety impacts should be undertaken, with the safety training limited to topics that impact the employee’s actual work.