According to Gartner, “Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes 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.”
In today’s modern organisations it is important to maintain an integrated approach to maintain an agile, productive and innovative workplace. The technology required to allow this integration is very easily accessible now, more affordable than ever before and simple to deploy.
Databases, documents, policies are all age old assets that an organisation is accustomed to manage. Organisations should add on one more aspect to their assets, their employees.
In order to do so though, organisations must give employees the tools to ensure that they can share the knowledge they possess.
There are several reasons why knowledge management is important.
- It ensures all relevant information and resources can be accessed by employees when they need it
- Important knowledge is kept within the business even after employees move on from the business
- It avoids duplicate efforts
- Take advantage of existing expertise
- Standardised processes and procedures for knowledge management (Elcom)
Source : The knowledge network
The Evolving Digital Workplace:
To facilitate knowledge sharing, an organisation needs to ensure that its maintained within the workplace. The challenges that organisations face today is the way we work and the change in demands for an organisation.
The workplace was once composed of a physical office space with employees working face-to-face and through email during set hours between 9am to 5pm. Fast forward several years. It is now the norm for employees to be working across multiple locations, hours and devices; the workforce no longer confined to a single office space.
As there is more diversification in the workplace there is a higher need for team-based and collaborative, digitally connected work environments which entails knowledge sharing at the core of the organisation. It is important to have the processes in place so the digital workplace can function in terms of sharing, retaining and accessing knowledge.
In this digital workplace employers must give their workers the support that they need to facilitate sharing which can take the form of:
- Training via intranet/cloud-based e-learning platforms
- Online spaces to ensure ease of collaboration
- A voice within the organisation
This can be done by adding social and learning aspects to the intranet (which often forms the basis of an effective digital workplace), so that employees have an outlook for expression. Using social aspects also allows employees to get to know one another, no matter what department they’re in, thereby embedding them further in the organisational culture.
Valuing your People!
It is likely that we will see many of the younger generation leaving jobs that don’t live up to their expectations and this is something that organisations must recognise and attempt to stop the cycle.
Whilst the global skills gap is still prevalent, it’s an employee’s market and this means that in order to satisfy and retain employees, organisations must ensure that they feel valued. This can come about with the use of collaboration, the intranet and the offer of further training.
The intranet is a great facilitator of this as it allows workspaces to be set up, social aspects to be added for better communication which adds as an employee nurture sentiment in the workplace.
The social intranet is especially useful, as it can be used as a ‘go to’ for those who are looking to further understand the organisational requirements which enable them to do their job effectively.
In order to do this, it takes a little knowledge gathering and pre-planning:
- Existing digital workplace audits to identify areas for improvement
- Look at what areas can be expanded to increase value to your customers and employees
- Enrich the knowledge base with further information
- Enable organisation-wide sharing
- Assess future knowledge sharing (Elcom)
Learn how to develop a knowledge-sharing culture to improve decision making from Selwyn Lemos, Knowledge Manager, NSW Department of Planning & Environment at the Information & Knowledge Management for Effective Decision Making conference on the 27th & 28th February 2019, Sydney.