“If HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” – Lewis E. Platt, former CEO at Hewlett-Packard
Living in a knowledge economy makes knowledge management one of the modern company’s most valuable assets.
As per a study, 80% of employees are frustrated at the inability to access a former colleague’s institutional knowledge. Organizations need to develop a knowledge-sharing culture where employees can acquire, compile, and transfer new information. Not only will it facilitate better decision making but also help in increasing productivity.
Let us try and understand the importance of organizational knowledge management.
Introduction to Knowledge Management
Knowledge management helps people in organizations share, access, and update business knowledge information.
Even making a simple checklist is part of organizational knowledge management. However, managing an organization requires much more than making checklists. When there is vast data, there arises the need for knowledge management. Let us have a look at some of the knowledge management solutions.
1. Cross-training Programs
These programs allow employees to gain business knowledge by observing others. For example, new employees of a company work with experienced employees, and new factories employ skilled and new workers.
2. Document Management Systems
Systems like Google Drive and Box help organizations store company documents on the cloud, share them, and also control access permissions. These tools have a system for tagging files that make information easy to access.
3. Content Management Systems
Content Management systems like Bloomfire and SharePoint allow teams and individuals to access, publish, and update information on a company intranet.
4. Social networking tools
Social networking tools like Workplace and Slack allow team communication and collaboration in a shared space. These tools double up as knowledge management systems as they store all conversations and enable employees to search previously discussed information.
Chatbots use AI and ML (Machine Learning) to answer employee questions and other requests for information. With chatbots, employees don’t need to search for information in a Content Management System(CMS) or chat history.
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Importance of Knowledge Management
Employees quit and retire, taking with them decades or maybe years of company knowledge, as per the survey results in the book “Critical Knowledge Transfer,” knowledge-related costs of losing employees fall between $50-299k per employee.
Hard drives can get corrupt and stolen. Moreover, there is also significant risk involved in storing knowledge in email threads, and local drives, and the data is not available to others who need it.
The need for knowledge management arises as these situations are inevitable. Also, workers spend 30% of their time recreating information. Easy knowledge sharing can lead to a significant reduction in search time and improve productivity.
A knowledge management system reduces these inefficiencies by making company knowledge accessible and accurate. Let us try and understand the importance of knowledge management.
1. Helps Employees
When information is easy to access, coworkers don’t need to interrupt each other with emails, chats, and support tickets. Moreover, support teams spend less time answering repetitive questions. This helps them focus on other important tasks.
Many times employees send emails asking for information and do not get the answers. When employees don’t share information they tend to repeat the mistakes others have made. However, it is avoidable when the lessons learned from mistakes are accessible to everyone.
2. Helps Organizations
When employees share their lessons learned on a knowledge system, others can easily access that info. Moreover, it is easy to make sure that everyone is on the same page and on the right track with documented and shared processes. This helps organizations streamline their operations and enhance productivity.
3. Helps Customers
Effective knowledge management allows support teams to quickly and correctly resolve customer requests. When customer concerns are addressed, they are more likely to place their trust in the company and purchase products from the organization.
It is critical that organizations form a strategy and also encourage employees to opt for one. To achieve efficiency, organizations should work towards a company culture that prioritizes knowledge sharing.
An organizational knowledge management program’s ultimate goal is that it drives positive outcomes for both- employees and organizations. When employees understand the system’s positives, an organization is much likely to roll out a knowledge management program.
Did we miss out on key aspects? Let us know in the comments section below!