3 ways how to include employees in knowledge management
Knowledge is one of the most valuable assets an organization can possess. A study by McKinsey shows that a good knowledge management system can reduce searching for information by up to 35 % and increase productivity by 25 %. However, it turns out that even the giants from Fortune 500 do not have knowledge management in check and lose billions a year by failing to share information.
Knowledge management is the process of acquiring, organizing, and sharing information throughout an organization. With the right information flow, employees are allowed to become more engaged in their workplace. They can better grasp their roles, improve training tactics and manuals, and your operations in general. So let´s have a look at three ways of including employees in your knowledge management process.
Include employees in guide creation
Decentralization of creating instructional materials and guides can be a great way of including employees in knowledge management. It is also one of the most straightforward ways of doing so, as it can be achieved by them simply documenting their day-to-day tasks and practices.
There are several ways of handling such documentation. One of them is simply writing it down on paper and then putting it into physical binders. However – who would nowadays pick up a binder that’s sitting somewhere on a shelf and search for information? While it is a start, there are more progressive tactics.
A popular choice is a “day in the life” type of video that presents employees’ typical daily tasks in a more approachable way. For detailed information guides or instructions in digital form can be used. Workers can write each step into an app and attach media files such as videos or images describing the entire process. Those can be later used as they are or as a base for manuals further edited by a dedicated knowledge manager. Such a tactic produces an easily understandable and realistic reflection of actual tasks that is easy to replicate.
Allow employees to give feedback
Who should have the right to comment on work practices? People who have years of experience under the belt and perform the tasks daily should be heard. Usually, guides and manuals are made by professionals sitting in an office. They could be working out in theory; however, they do not necessarily accurately reflect reality. Manuals can get quickly outdated and are often overly complicated, which results in unnecessary mistakes and longer reaction times. They may not include tips and tricks and tiny nuances that workers and technicians in the field would already know or benefit from.
So, be it a box for ideas or a more sophisticated system for collecting feedback, it is a good practice. Having an option to report inaccurate instructions and offer feedback on existing guides helps your workforce get engaged and your organization to identify bottlenecks.
Give workers a space to collaborate
Another compelling way of including employees in knowledge management is empowering collaboration when solving issues. A collaborative platform where workers interact with their peers, experts, and management will easily do the job.
Being a part of a community can make workers more connected to their role and engaged within the organization. This includes voluntarily taking part in building a knowledge base. After all, the goal is not to force workers to create guides on top of their daily tasks. It should work in a way it enhances their workflow and performance and, in the end, makes their work-life easier.
An informal way of communication allows free and seamless knowledge flow: no obstructing protocols and unnecessary steps. When facing issues, technicians can simply ask others for advice. After they resolve the problem, information can be shared, stored, and later easily retrieved. And if people work on a similar issue in the future, they can retrospectively search for the answer.
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