Organizations that have the biggest competitive advantage all have one thing in common – they are excellent at Knowledge Management.
According to the Gartner Group, Knowledge Management is “an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers.”
Exactly how does Knowledge Management make your company more profitable? Here’s how it works:
- Gathering new knowledge about your customers, your industry and the business environment.
- Better analysing the knowledge your company already has about customers and the industry.
- Making the above knowledge accessible to all departments and levels of your company, rather than remain in the hands of only a few experts or senior leaders.
- Developing a culture of knowledge sharing and collaborative analysis & decision making across the company.
- Develop profitable insights from the above knowledge to develop better products, acquire more customers, serve customers better and so on.
To execute all the above, you need a Knowledge Management process in place to gather, analyse and share information. The most essential component in this process is a shared platform to support all knowledge management activities.
Here are 3 ways in which a shared platform improves Knowledge Management:
1. Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture
Knowledge Management will work only if a substantial percentage of people in your company actively participate in it. However, until recently, most companies have found it extremely difficult to create a culture that promotes Knowledge Management, because there was no simple mechanism to do so. Companies would have a Knowledge Management section on their intranet, where hardly anyone would visit!
However, the past few years Knowledge Management has grown because of internal communication platforms like Smarp, which make content discovery and sharing content easier. Social media features like posting updates, commenting, sharing and leaderboards encourage people to initiate and participate in valuable discussions – which is exactly what Knowledge Management is all about!
Shared internal communication platforms are designed to encourage discussions, ideation, collaboration, and transparency. Therefore, they make it easy to create a culture of knowledge sharing.
2. Sharing Insights, Experiences and Discoveries
Every single day, different employees across your company make discoveries about internal or external aspects. However, most of this knowledge is not captured – and is therefore lost.
For example, your support team talks to customers every day and learns more about their needs. This knowledge can be extremely valuable to marketing and sales teams for framing messages that resonate better with prospects. It can also give product teams ideas for building new products or features. But this knowledge is rarely shared.
Similarly, an engineering team member might discover a process for doing something in half the usual time. It would be hugely beneficial if other engineers also knew about this improved process.
If your employees have access to an internal communication platform like Smarp, they can keep posting their everyday discoveries on the platform. People from all across the company will have access to these bits of information. Every now and then, a valuable insight will pop up, which will give your team a profitable advantage.
3. Idea Generation and Surveys
Companies that are successful at Knowledge Management are always gathering ideas and thoughts from their employees.
A shared internal communication platform makes it really easy to do this. Post a message on your internal communication platform to solicit ideas from across the company. People can share their ideas by dropping a comment. They can also comment on the merits and demerits of each idea, thereby stimulating a rich discussion around which ideas would work the best.
Similarly, you can run surveys to gather employee feedback, by using an internal communication platform. Quick Tip: Smarp integrates with Surveymonkey!
Surveys on an internal communication platform usually get far more responses because they have a social effect. Even if the responses are private, people comment that they have participated, which creates a ripple effect and encourage other people to participate too!
Stop using your intranet and complicated processes to try promoting a knowledge sharing culture!
To make Knowledge Management processes really work, you need to make it easy. All you need is a shared internal communication platform – that empowers your people to discover, ideate, share, discuss and collaborate.