Every business desires knowledgeable people in their books—that is obvious. What perhaps isn’t as obvious is how easy it is to get more knowledgeable people on your team.
If you were to only hire extremely qualified employees, you would be investing a lot of your money into this. Instead, make the most out of the different talents and skills those already in your workforce have. Knowledge management can help you do just that.
What is knowledge management?
Knowledge management refers to a wide set of aspects of a business and its management. It is the process of capturing, sharing, storing and managing the knowledge of the workplace in a way that can help with productivity and efficiency.
With knowledge management, you can take the key skills, talents, and bits of knowledge that any of your team already has and find a way to introduce and spread this to the rest of your team in a way that is engaging and motivating.
Examples of knowledge management application tools and technologies
There are a multitude of knowledge management application tools and technologies out there—and the chances are your organization already employs at least one of these.
Learning management systems (LMS)
Introducing an LMS into your company is a great way to make knowledge shareable and learning engaging.
With an LMS, you can create modules and courses for your workforce to complete and provide them with practice scenarios that will help boost their confidence. This is extra helpful for new hires, as you can provide them with everything they need to be competent in their new role.
This is beneficial as:
It helps new hires familiarize themselves with your company’s materials.
It saves them and yourself time you would otherwise have to spend going through the resources.
Resources are always readily available and every member of the team will know where to find them when they need it.
As the above point hints at, an LMS is just as useful for those who have been at the company for longer.
New technologies keep emerging and the way we work continues to change; businesses have to adapt to this accordingly. Older team members may need extra training when such things happen, as they are used to a certain way of working.
Employee success software can be used as a library where all these learning materials are stored. It will also help all your team, new and old, feel connected, educated, and able to share their tips and tricks with each other.
Moreover, having courses and modules that provide your team with instant feedback (such as telling them if their answer is right or wrong immediately) not only allows them to improve their skills straight away, but keeps them motivated and engaged. Providing quizzes at the end of courses is a fun way of helping drill information.
Competency management refers to the analysis of the company’s objectives alongside the skills, knowledge and attitudes expressed by the workforce.
By analyzing such information, you can work out what areas need to be worked on to help your company reach their goals.
Information found from this analysis can also be reused by employees to self-assess themselves. Self-assessments are an effective way of improving employee productivity and encouraging self-learning.
Competency management is a new part of HR company culture that should be implemented by any good business alongside the essential HR documents.
Social software is often implemented within an LMS or CRM but can also be integrated into your company’s culture through the use of Kanban boards, for example.
Social software allows team members to communicate with each other in a professional environment. This could be in the form of instant messages, comments, or in the case of Kanban boards virtual sticky notes, for example.
This communication between team members increases efficiency as they can find answers quickly from each other and expand their knowledge.
Moreover, encouraging communication between team members helps to create psychological safety in the workplace. If your employees feel comfortable asking for help, admitting to mistakes, or requesting someone to check over their work, they will feel safer in their place of work. Naturally, the sense of security will boost their productivity and increase confidence.
For efficiency, it is best to have your knowledge management solutions stored on a system already used by your employees to save time on learning to navigate a new platform. Moreover, it doesn’t mean constantly logging in and out of different software. Using the LMS you already have integrated into your workplace is a good idea.
Having effective knowledge management solutions saves time spent at help desks (virtually or in-person) and helps ease frustration amongst employees when they can’t find a resolution quickly.
An effective knowledge management tool will provide FAQs and quick links to information that is often sought by team members.
For example, your knowledge management tool could provide employees with waiver letters samples so they save time on searching for them themselves or asking around.
Knowledge management benefits for your team
The above examples of knowledge management tools in action showcase knowledge management benefits for your team such as:
A big employee complaint is that it takes them too long to find a resolution in the office, which leads to wasted time and built up frustrations. By having the answers to most of the questions your workforce could possibly ask all stored together online, you are reducing the time and effort it takes them to reach such solutions.
How knowledge management is making teams more efficient
Naturally, these knowledge management benefits improve the efficiency of your team.
This is down to:
Faster and improved employee onboarding.
Improved decision-making process.
Increased client satisfaction.
Less time spent looking for information, as knowledge is shared.
Reduced operating expenses.
Stimulated innovation and cultural changes.
Minimized redundant efforts.
The onboarding process is sped up through an LMS and decision-making skills are improved through the sharing of past experiences. Improved decision-making also increases client satisfaction.
Productivity is boosted through a more confident and competent workforce, who are more engaged with each other.
Expenses are reduced as you aren’t required to only hire highly qualified people or to rent out meeting rooms for in-person training.
Any changes that are forced upon the business’ work processes through advancements in technologies are easier to adapt to as the changes can be easily explained on a knowledge management platform.
By effectively implementing knowledge management tools into your company culture, you can create a much more efficient team.
Your workforce will not only become more knowledgeable, but more confident, engaged, and fulfilled.
It is never too late to integrate knowledge management tools into your business, and it is always possible even for new start-ups.
If you are a new business and are unsure where to start with capturing knowledge, or want to have some knowledge already prepared to share with new employees, you can bring an outside expert in to provide you with information to share on your LMS, or in a training session.
An older business but feel you have left it too late to capture knowledge from staff? You can always bring back retired staff on a voluntary basis to recapture their tacit and implicit knowledge.
For new starters considering bringing in an outside expert, this can also be on a voluntary basis too if you are concerned about finances. Just make sure a volunteer agreement is signed.
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