In today’s economy, gaining knowledge is one of the most important assets for a modern company. It can be seen by the fact that Fortune 500 companies were billed annually worth $31.5 billion because of a poor knowledge-sharing process. It is very important, therefore, for an organization to manage their knowledge to improve their efficiency and productivity.

Definition of knowledge management

Knowledge management is a continuous process of gaining, structuring as well as retaining knowledge and experiences that help people in an organization update their business efficiency and productivity. The main purpose of this system is to retain knowledge within the company. It focuses on improving and sharing knowledge with team members of an organization by offering regular training and learning. This way, a smarter and stronger workforce is built for a company which makes the workflow quicker, and the company in the long term also benefits from such informed decisions.

The goal of knowledge management is to promote organizational learning culture where knowledge sharing is encouraged so that the employee becomes better and the workload decreases. There is an increase in the company’s productivity and sales as well. Overall, having a knowledge management system for a company is an asset on its own, and it boosts the efficiency of the company and also improves the ability to make better decisions. Such organizations foster innovation.

Benefits of knowledge management

Knowledge management is an essential tool for any company that wants to increase its market share. Let us go through some benefits of knowledge management:

Get the required information sooner

Generally, if you are looking for an answer to some question, you might end up mailing multiple people hoping one of them would know. This makes the whole process slow and time taking. Instead, if this information is readily available, you can save time and improve your productivity.

Gain result with fewer mistakes

When employees don’t share information, it is obvious that they can make the same mistakes again and again. Instead, if lesson-learned from previous mistakes are already accessible, it would improve the productivity of the employee as well as the organization.

Provide better service to customers

Effective and managed flow of information allow support teams to quickly resolve issues, if any, thereby improving the productivity of the customer service and gain more trust of the customers, also helping in increasing sales for the company.

Standardize process

Distorted information wen shared always results in mistakes, but if certain standards are made for the employees to follow to assure everyone is on the same page and follow pre-approved procedures is undoubtedly going to boost the overall productivity of the company.

Make informed decisions

When employee experiences and research work are shared on a knowledge-based system, others can easily review this information and different viewpoints before resulting in an important decision. This process combines the pieces of data scattered so that the employee can move on in the right direction concerning the project.

Employee training onboard

The training process of the employee onboard gets a boost when this kind of knowledge system is available. Any query can quickly be resolved, and systematic training can be assured, making the employee a valuable asset to the company.

Boosts employee happiness

An organized knowledge system assures the happiness of the employees as well as their retention in the company. Every employee looks for an innovative and effective company to join.

Knowledge management benefits

Knowledge management best practices and strategies

As different companies have different requirements, the knowledge management system they need would be different. Some of the best knowledge management practices that can lead to organizational success include:

Examining organizational culture

By implementing knowledge management practices, the organizational culture can be examined. The team skills and capabilities can be assessed along with regular communication and collaboration among the team members.

Creating a knowledge management framework

An effective knowledge management framework can help smooth the functioning of business workflow. For increasing efficiency, the framework needs to be simple that continuously upgrades according to the feedback of team members.

Incentivizing employees

The efforts of employees need to be recognized and encouraged by providing them incentives. This way, not only knowledge sharing process is enhanced, but also team spirit is boosted.

Accessibility of relevant content

Based on the analysis of organizational capabilities, the focus should be put on knowledge creation and strategy formulation. The relevant content should be accessible and easily navigable by team members.

Establishing continuity plan

While clearly defining knowledge management practices, it is important to establish a continuity plan. The managers should be encouraged by chalking out a plan for the proper flow of knowledge to other team members.

Focusing on continuous improvement

By regularly meeting team members, feedback on knowledge creation and sharing can be discussed and analyzed. This enables to gain positive outcomes along with working on continuous improvement. 

Strategies for implementing a knowledge management system

For putting practices into implementation, organizations need to adopt various knowledge management strategies that can enhance overall productivity. The key strategies include:

  1. Communicate: Communication is really important while launching a knowledge management platform. The best practice is to adopt a top-down approach, wherein the senior leadership team launches the platform & highlights its importance in achieving the goals & targets. This can be done by hosting events and encouraging employee engagement.
  2. Identify knowledge champions: A knowledge management system is as good as its drivers. Hence it’s imperative to identify the people who would continuously share knowledge & encourage others to do the same. They could be department heads, employees with good knowledge credibility or corporate influence, etc. Also, employees with valuable content can be empowered in the meetings.
  3. Cultivate the culture of knowledge sharing: To keep the knowledge sharing system live & active, it’s crucial that everyone across the organization shares & consumes knowledge. Of course, the initial push can come from the knowledge champions, however, eventually, everyone across the organization will have to carry the knowledge torch. Incentives and rewards are one of the very effective ways to motivate the team. Another successful method adopted by many organizations is making knowledge sharing & consumption a part of goals. It emphasizes the importance the organization is placing in the knowledge management system.
  4. Measure and improve: It is important to measure the effectiveness and progress of goals set of knowledge management system with the help of metrics such as adoption rate, engagement score, and performance. This way, feedback can be collected from employees, thereby optimizing the information on the platform.
  5. Share the progress with the team: The proper internal communication practices and strategies can help to share the overall progress of knowledge management with the team. For example, in the internal quarterly performance communication from the senior leadership team, progress on this front can also be highlighted. Seeing the progress motivates the team to achieve the set target.