Imagine a workplace where service personnel can check a product specification and resolve a problem in the field? Or how about being able to onboard a new employee without the need for a lengthy handover? And picture a self-service online directory where staff can identify internal subject experts in just a few seconds.
Online knowledge management systems allow businesses to capture, share, and communicate internal knowledge – just like the examples mentioned – to support your business’s productivity, agility, and responsiveness.
The first step in developing a knowledge information system is identifying what knowledge you want to collect. You need to consider the best way to transfer that knowledge and make it available to the workforce. If this sounds like an overwhelming task, then help is at hand as we take you through all you need to know.
What Is A Knowledge Management System?
So, what do we mean by a knowledge management system?
A knowledge management system captures, stores, references, and shares internally the organization’s collective wisdom, experience, and specific occupational knowledge.
Put simply, knowledge management systems mean your business gets the right information to the right people at the right time.
Importance Of Knowledge Management Systems
Technological advances mean that more information and data than ever before are flowing through businesses. Managing and organizing that data so that it supports productivity and operational efficiencies has become a critical task.
The retirement of the baby boomer generation has also brought into sharp focus the need for better management of organizational knowledge. As baby boomers reach retirement age, their wisdom and expertise are simply walking out the door, leaving voids in company knowledge.
Furthermore, according to one survey, 51 percent of American workers change jobs every one to five years. This represents another drain on organizational knowledge.
The way we work has also significantly changed over the past 20 years. Rigid 9-5 offices with staff chained to their desks are a thing of the past. More and more of us are working flexibly, remotely, and in non-desk roles. Once upon a time, knowledge management might have consisted of a central filing cabinet crammed full of company information. However, new ways of working require flexible solutions.
An effective knowledge management system will see your business address these issues. And you will also benefit in the following additional ways.
It Will Help Your Employees
Making it easier for staff to directly source information they need to get the job done will boost employee morale and retention. It means your employees are not distracting their colleagues with queries or wasting time on outdated, cumbersome systems. And knowledge management systems do away with information silos and promote organization-wide collaboration.
It Will Help Your Customers
An effective knowledge management system means your customer service staff can provide faster, more responsive help. Furthermore, sales or service operators spending time out on the road have at their fingertips all the information they need. The result will be improved customer loyalty and an increase in brand advocacy.
It Will Help Your Business
Targeted onboarding, more streamlined processes and collaboration, improved productivity, better decision-making, and enhanced agility and more are on offer. The bottom line is that an effective knowledge management system will help your business to stay competitive.
How To Develop A Knowledge Management System
The first point is to recognize is it will be an ongoing process. Things change. Whether it’s technology, the operational or legislative environment, knowledge will be continually evolving, and so should your system.
Identify the Knowledge to be Cataloged in the System
Start by considering the broad areas of knowledge that need to be captured and documented. Be mindful of the fact that there are different layers of knowledge.
Some will be role or team-based, while others are more about company culture and how departments and processes fit together.
Get your employees to brainstorm knowledge needs and the questions most commonly raised. Supplement this information with surveys and focus groups for a more detailed picture. And analyze search terms used on your intranet or website for additional insights. Examples of company knowledge to capture include databases, company processes, manuals, presentations, guides, or standard operating procedures.
Organize the Knowledge
The next step is to categorize the information into tags, topics, and categories. Then consider team or sub-categories that sit below those broad topics. This mapping process will vary from business to business, but it should make sense to your employees and how you work.
Furthermore, the knowledge management system must be supported by an advanced search function. Employees need to get to that critical piece of information as quickly as possible, and the search will help them.
Determine How Best to Deliver the Knowledge
Your employees are a diverse group who have differing needs and expectations. Try to use a variety of media to meet as many needs as possible. Take your pick from traditional written formats or online blogs and forums. And why not use how-to videos, webinars or podcasts. Technology allows for a wide selection of tools, so use as many as possible to enhance employee engagement and adoption.
Incorporate Feedback Mechanisms
Your knowledge management system will only be effective if it meets the needs of employees. Ensure that they have a voice and can feedback to you on how well it is working in practice. Regularly review the knowledge management system at a senior level to ensure it is still fit for purpose. This involves periodically checking the information is current, as well as getting rid of any data that is out of date or no longer relevant.
Best Knowledge Management System
When it comes to a practical, easy-to-use knowledge management system, the MyHub intranet is hard to beat. From large companies to small and medium-sized businesses, the intranet will simplify knowledge management in your organization.
Central Hub of Company-wide Information
Located in one central hub, the intranet works as an online library for all company information. Providing a single source of truth, employees can be confident the information they are accessing is the very latest. All knowledge-rich files and documents are easily and securely shared. And this unified approach to knowledge management and sharing will see your business wave goodbye to the silos of old.
Fully Customizable Solution
Whether it’s the familiarity of your company’s logo, branding, and colors, or a recognizable roadmap, customize the intranet to suit your business. We don’t provide a one-size-fits-all solution. The software is flexible and intuitive so that you can put your company stamp on the templates provided for a bespoke platform.
Integrations & Single Sign-on
It’s possible to integrate the knowledge management system with other platforms used in your business. The intranet’s single sign-on also provides a gateway to Office 365, G Suite, and Salesforce, among others. There’s no need to juggle multiple apps and screens; the intranet makes it easy for you to access and share data across these popular platforms.
Tools to Capture Knowledge.
The intranet comes with features that can be used to capture organizational knowledge. Surveys, quizzes, blogs, forums, along with feedback and comments draw out knowledge as well as sharing insights across teams.
Automated Online Forms
Allow teams to capture data and share it with others quickly. It could be real-time sales or digital marketing insights. The intranet’s automated forms ensure that knowledge is recorded and automatically routed to those who need to know.
Collaboration Made Easier
Just as important as tools to capture knowledge are those for sharing knowledge. The intranet comes with an abundance of those too.
Need to brainstorm an idea with your project team colleagues? No problem. Use the intranet’s instant messaging tool to have a live discussion with colleagues regardless of where they are located.
For more in-depth discussion and ideation, you could use the intranet’s forums. These can be set up on by team or project. And why not consider creating communities of interest with employees interested in following a hashtag-style trend or topic.
Similarly, site or individual activity walls connect employees and provide a vehicle for sharing knowledge and information. They also support joint working and team collaboration.
And when it comes to identifying internal subject experts or knowledge, then employees can go to the online staff directory. With short biographies and highlighted areas of expertise and experience, staff identify sources of help for themselves.
Tools for Sharing Knowledge
The intranet supports the use of a wide variety of media, including wikis, blogs, vlogs, and newsfeeds. You can showcase the most frequently accessed knowledge in a sidebar on the intranet or a what’s hot button. A system of personalized notifications ensures that staff are made aware of updates critical to their role or interests. And online newsletters keep everyone updated on all the latest company and industry news.
The intranet’s advanced search function supports all these fantastic tools and features. Employees can quickly and easily search by tags, topics, team, author, or department. This is a lifeline for staff members that spend their time on the road and need to access information quickly.
Knowledge Management System Examples
So how are MyHub’s customers using the intranet as a knowledge management system? For RWR Group, the intranet is a ‘one-stop shop’.
Marija Salic, RWR’s Group Marketing Coordinator, explains, ‘We thought it would mainly address the communication need, but it has centralized all our business processes in one location.
‘We use it as a central library of information with all our how-to guides, policies, and processes as well as HR forms,’ Marija concludes.
Find out more about how RWR Group is using the intranet here.
At Idaho Lottery the intranet connects head office with employees and sales reps out and about in the state. Jennifer Quinno-Miller explains that before the intranet, concerns around cybersecurity meant that these staff could not fully access the network. This limited their effectiveness and responsiveness when on the road.
‘With the MyHub intranet, all our information is now in one central place. Staff can directly and securely source and access anything they need, even if they’re away from the office,’ says Jennifer.
Click here to read the full Idaho Lottery case study.
Franchise-based business, Kennect Recruitment, operates in a fast-paced environment where legislative and compliance requirements are constantly changing. As well as keeping staff alerted to significant changes, Kennect is also making good use of the intranet’s integration features.
Managing Director Jason Whittenham explains more, ‘We’ve made extensive use of G Suite apps which we’ve embedded directly in the intranet. For example, staff can access Google Slides presentations of training courses and modules, so if they need to check on something or follow up on a query; all the information is there on the intranet.’
Click here to read the full Kennect Recruitment case study.
Flexible, easy to use, and designed for the non-technical user, MyHub Intranet is an effective knowledge management system. Find out just how effective with a free demo with one of our knowledgeable team members.