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4 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Organization’s Knowledge Management System

Mike Hicks

March 18, 2019 · 4 min read
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Knowledge is currency, but it’s worthless if employees can’t easily find and use it. Applying knowledge management best practices will not only rein in the collective wisdom scattered across your organization, but turn it into capital.

Our Guide to Knowledge Management in Today’s Digital Workplace delivers practical tips and strategies to get the most out of the vast, and growing, quantity of knowledge in today’s companies. It shows you how to create the right conditions for capturing, storing, and sharing the information that currently resides in people, apps, hard drives, and – let’s admit it – paper files.

No matter what industry you’re in or the size of your organization, having the best knowledge base is a competitive advantage. But creating one can be an overwhelming task. With this exclusive guide, you’ll learn four easy ways to optimize knowledge management.

The Basics of Knowledge Management Systems

According to our 2019 State of the Digital Workplace study, 43% of employees have avoided sharing a document with a colleague because they couldn’t find it or believed it would take too long to find. Productivity drain and information siloes – these are just some of the results of poor knowledge management.

You can’t afford to lose the wealth of information in your organization, whether it’s traditional data and documents or the knowledge that comes from employee experience and ideas. A comprehensive knowledge management system finds, organizes, distills, and presents all types of information in the context of solutions to business challenges.

In the guide, you’ll learn how current workplace trends are complicating knowledge management. Remote work, low employee engagement, the proliferation of apps, and digital information overload have created a difficult landscape for this mission-critical process. But you’ll see how it’s still possible to create the optimal conditions for successful knowledge management by focusing on a few key domains.

Maximize knowledge in the new workplace

These four strategies, covered in the guide, show you how to transform knowledge management by putting the right structures, culture, and technology in place. The result is an organization where information is centralized, accessible, and increasing your bottom line.

1. Demonstrate management buy-in

A manager who discovers that employees spend five to 10 minutes accessing the latest version of documents would streamline that process. But knowledge management can’t be a piecemeal undertaking. It requires an organization-wide effort and visible, active support from the top.

Management has a crucial role to play in promoting knowledge management best practices by setting out clear policies on information governance and making specific employees accountable for their implementation. These and other key strategies can be found in the guide, along with ways to gauge your organization’s progress and demonstrate the ROI of enhanced knowledge management.

2. Put the right knowledge in the right place

Gathering and consolidating information are vital first steps, but where you put it and how you organize it are just as important. The guide shows you how to get the most value from any knowledge by placing it in the context of solutions to real organizational challenges. Consider these examples of solutions-driven knowledge management:

Challenge: Marketing spends countless hours fielding questions on brand guidelines and creative resources. Employees waste time trying to find the right images and font for their projects.
Solution: Save time and improve alignment by bringing all these resources together in a Brand Portal.

Challenge: Your organization is struggling to manage the ever-growing body of governance and compliance data, and you’re looking for an easy and efficient way to measure employee uptake.
Solution: Eliminate confusion, mitigate risk, and boost regulatory compliance by centralizing everything in a Governance Center.

The guide will also show you why the best knowledge base is intuitive, accessible, and delivers a positive user experience so that employees will want to use it. (Hint: Make it social.)

3. Foster a knowledge-sharing culture

The opportunities for face-to-face knowledge exchange are rare in the new workplace. But the guide reveals three ways to cultivate knowledge-sharing in a dispersed workforce:

  1. Ensure daily workflows have built-in mechanisms for easily sharing ideas and information.
  2. Celebrate all kinds of knowledge-sharing through recognition by peers and management.
  3. Make it easy for people to float ideas and spark meaningful company-wide conversations.

4. Use technology to optimize knowledge management

Technology created the explosion and dispersal of information into multiple standalone apps, but the right technology can tame the chaos by centralizing your company’s knowledge bases. A single, easy-to-access digital destination unites content from employees, apps, and hard drives in a solutions-driven knowledge management platform. It creates the go-to place for a highly mobile workforce to find, use, and share knowledge to increase productivity and innovation.

Why your employees will appreciate a single destination for knowledge management

With a digital destination, everything employees need to know to get work done – from documents and data to policies and news – is in one place. It maximizes the power and value of your company knowledge to solve core business challenges.

People no longer waste time searching for information (learn more about how powerful search capabilities can revolutionize knowledge management in the Guide), sharing is embedded in the culture, collaboration is efficient, and knowledge – one of your organization’s biggest assets – is not lost.

Ready to expand your team’s knowledge?

Whether you want to tackle a few of your most pressing knowledge management challenges or undertake a wholesale transformation of your current approach, the guide shows you how to take the next step to optimize knowledge management.

Download the Guide to Knowledge Management in Today’s Digital Workplace.