Corporate memory consists of the valuable lessons and best practices that an organization accumulates over time. The larger a company gets, the more difficult becomes the task of managing corporate memory. This is where a knowledge management software plays a crucial role by helping companies to foster organizational learning, through creating, sharing and applying knowledge.
- Easily access a repository of information and resources - Organizational knowledge is mostly scattered. Important information is often lost in email threads or as isolated Word documents and files. A knowledge management software helps companies to keep all files, documents, emails, videos, PDFs, articles and other content in a central and easily accessible place.
- Provide templates, repeatable methods and procedures - Every business must follow a set of standards to maintain quality and consistency in how work is performed. The challenge is in ensuring that all employees are up-to-date on company best practices. Using a knowledge management software, companies can easily communicate policies, methods and repeatable processes to streamline work across the organization.
- Turn tacit into explicit knowledge - Tacit knowledge is that which resides within the heads of experts and thought leaders in an organization. A knowledge management tool helps experts to make their tacit knowledge explicit by writing help articles, know-how manuals, guides etc, that can be viewed by new employees. This helps in disseminating and re-applying expert knowledge throughout the organization.
- Exploit expertise and experience of employees - As an organization grows so does the skills, knowledge and experience of employees. A knowledge management software helps companies to tap into this talent pool and accelerate progress. As people with varying skill-sets and capabilities come together and share knowledge via a central platform, the results are more informed decisions which ultimately lead to the organization’s growth.
- Communicate key information quickly and easily - Companies especially large organizations suffer from information overload. This is most evident when we look at corporate communication where employee are literally drowning in a sea of emails, printed materials and weblinks. A knowledge base makes communication effective as anyone can find the information they are looking for at a click. Different departments can have personalized knowledge bases and share targeted information quickly with each other.
- Create a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing - The knowledge management software is a platform where employees can share not only best practices and know-how but also discuss successes, failures, and experiences. Companies can use it to record anything from software documentation to new ideas and proposals. Employees located in different regions can easily collaborate and share knowledge via a centralized online knowledge base.
- Faster and smarter decision-making - A knowledge base helps executives to share and find relevant information quickly, which accelerates decision-making. A typical example would be an internal knowledge base for sales agents which contains all the key pitches, product and service guides. This knowledge repository, which contains practical examples and scenario based lessons, helps agents to make informed decision in minutes and close sales opportunity faster.
- Eliminate past mistakes and redundant effort - A knowledge management software is much more than just a storehouse of information. It is essentially the link between organizational strategy and organizational learning. It contains information both of success (best practises) and failures (lessons learned) by an organization over time. Employees can learn from past mistakes and don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. They can re-use and re-apply the wealth of information available in the knowledge base.
- Encourage change and innovation - Good ideas can come from anyone, whether it be from top management or young albeit talented employees. A knowledge base bring individuals and entire teams to share ideas, insights and strategies in a central place. This free flow of ideas and open dialogue stimulates a culture of change and innovation, which is essential to the success of a business.
Managing organizational knowledge is crucial to every business. Cultivating a culture of sharing valuable lessons and best practices in a company knowledge base is one of the best ways to boost corporate memory.
In summary, here’s how leaders and trainers can use a knowledge base to facilitate organizational memory:
- Create a shared vision & purpose - Having a shared vision is crucial as it brings the entire organization under one roof, where employees disregard their personal differences and agendas for the greater good. Leaders can use the knowledge base to share the company's mission statements and vision with employees. This ensures that communication is centralized and every employee is shared the same message and story about the company.
- Make learning accessible & actionable - Leaders can use the knowledge base as an effective system for employees to share their knowledge with each other. Senior employees can easily share their knowledge and experiences with new employees to bring them up to speed on workflows and processes. As employees start engaging in peer to peer learning, knowledge silos are eliminated and a culture of
knowledge sharing is established. This is especially relevant for companies whose offices are located in different regions and employees have a tough time in communicating effectively with each other.
Pritam is a web copy and content writer with ProProfs. His areas of interest are eLearning, knowledge management, SaaS technologies and startups. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him reading esoteric theories or listening to Pat Metheny.
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