Selecting a knowledge management system can be a complicated process. Companies need to choose the right tool so team members can be more productive and efficient. Our newest blog series examines three crucial features that every great knowledge management tool should offer to enable teams to Do Better Work. Now that we’ve learned how to build content, let’s see how to share it across the team.
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?
The same can be said for knowledge. How often do we spend time reinventing the wheel and creating knowledge to later realize that a better wheel already existed? The explicit knowledge already existed, but you weren’t in the forest to hear it. Instead, you wasted time creating a subpar alternative instead of using that time to improve on an already existing idea or focus on a different priority altogether.
The ability to share knowledge across our teams and leverage someone else’s wheel allows us to not only grow, evolve, and improve at a faster rate, but scale as well. This is why shareability is a key feature to look for in knowledge management software.
So, what are the benefits of shareability?
Deliver best practices across your team and organization
Once a team member develops an effective solution to a problem, knowledge sharing allows other members within your organizations to use it going forward. This avoids the redundant effort described above by managing knowledge properly. For example, an account executive has a highly successful demo — shareability allows other AE’s to see what they’re doing and leverage that ‘secret sauce’. They can quickly retrieve knowledge that covers best practices and helpful tips to replicate the same success.
The benefits here are savings in time and money, but also improved performance. In the above example, the rest of your team’s performance should also improve as they too adopt that best practice. Even better, these benefits aren’t siloed to just your team as a knowledge base also provides access to this knowledge repository no matter what part of the organization you’re in.
The rate at which your team grows is limited by the bandwidth of your tenured employees if your knowledge management system does not promote shareability. During onboarding, a lack of shareability can create a bottleneck as new team members will need to depend on in-person or classroom walkthroughs of key processes. Once the new team member completes onboarding, it’s inevitable that they’ll have questions related to their training. If knowledge is hard to find, they’ll be forced to disrupt their teammates to find the answer. This not only reduces their teammate’s productivity but delays the new team member from getting the answer quickly. A robust knowledge system can prevent this scenario as it serves as a content management tool that always accessible.
Promote innovation and process improvements
The time saved from reinventing the wheel can then be used to improve it. If teams aren’t moving forward, they’ll surely fall behind. Shareability promotes innovation by allowing others to build on ideas and make them better. This often translates to more efficient processes, new products or processes, and a more effective team overall.
Create a better customer experience
The more efficient and effective performance will not only impact your employees, but your customers will also reap the benefits. This can improve service levels and pricing strategies to create a competitive advantage for your company. By being able to innovate more quickly, you can also develop new products or services to further drive revenue and increase win rates.
Reduce knowledge loss
Organizations rely on employee knowledge to keep their business running and keep their customers happy. When knowledge isn’t shared, it becomes siloed and a greater dependence is placed on the person who ‘owns’ that knowledge. A top-notch knowledge management system facilitates shareability of a company’s critical knowledge and eliminates the risk of that knowledge being lost.
Support the transition of old to new employees
We’re in the middle of a substantial workforce transition as we see Baby Boomers retire and millennials fill their shoes. When workers retire and take their experiences and knowledge with them, there’s sure to be a gap. Shareability can bridge this gap by providing continued access to key processes in the knowledge base or knowledge management system. When the time comes to then train a new hire, they can focus on the 1:1 time with the expert since the key how-to’s are already documented. This also reduces the overall disruption to your business and customers.
Knowledge is power and companies that harness this power will succeed. So stop reinventing the wheel, and start sharing it!
Share important info with Lessonly’s knowledge management system
Lessonly Knowledge gives your teammates the ability to find answers quickly and easily—all within their normal workflow. With Lessonly Knowledge, streamline where knowledge lives, integrate with common work apps, and help your teammates save time. Click here to learn more.