Let’s face it. Many organizations believe they have achieved robust Knowledge Engagement. They explored the potential business value of their employee experiences, learning, and best practices. They saw value in creating an easily accessed collective enterprise intellect that included some implicit and tacit knowledge into resources for ongoing business needs like onboarding and upskilling. Those pdfs, videos, podcasts, and other materials are warehoused in applications or directories for on-demand employee access. Knowledge Engagement done and dusted, right? Wrong.
Knowledge Engagement is a dynamic process of ongoing knowledge access, use, and expansion and is supported by effective Knowledge Management (KM). Over time, it can slow to a standstill. Here are three signs it’s probably time for a Knowledge Engagement makeover.
1. You have “go-to” people.
Certainly, every business benefits from its subject matter experts. However, if employees are consistently going to the same few people for answers and/or if the same questions are being answered over and over, you are dealing with knowledge asset ignorance—when employees don’t know where to find information or, worse yet, knowledge hoarding—when employees gather information for their private use. Both are the opposites of Knowledge Engagement. Dynamic Knowledge Engagement empowers all your employees to be knowledgeable by creating an easily accessible knowledge base so they know where to go to find the information they need and can easily get there. It also encourages all your employees to become information resources by sharing their knowledge. To promote knowledge sharing, regularly and explicitly acknowledge the benefits of doing so. Also consider rewarding those who do and redirecting those who don’t. This shifts “go-to” from particular people to all accurate, relevant information resources.
2. You have outdated knowledge resources still in place.
It’s smart to have a store of knowledge assets, but who’s minding the store? How often are knowledge assets routinely assessed for current relevance and effectiveness? An important part of healthy Knowledge Engagement is empowering the teams using the knowledge resources to update and/or “weed out” outdated material so the resources are helpful in changing business climates. If an employee seeks company instructions on how to store and share information and a pdf on floppy disk use surfaces among the resources, it’s time for a clean out.
3. You lose information when employees leave.
Robust Knowledge Engagement is reflected in the ongoing expansion of knowledge resources. This happens when employees are regularly encouraged to add what they know to build knowledge assets. If you experience a feeling of panic when key people announce they are leaving your organization, that’s a sign that it’s time for a Knowledge Engagement makeover to regularly capture your workforce’s useful knowledge so all employees can learn from each other during their time with your company and continue to do so long after some leave.
Dynamic Knowledge Engagement transforms workplace knowledge into a continuously expanding resource to be regularly drawn from and added to. It is vital to keep it vigorous with the right KM solutions. With the proper maintenance, Knowledge Engagement will increase an organization’s collective intelligence which, in turn, leads to greater efficiency, collaboration, and productivity.
Not sure where to start? SPARK THOUGHT can help. We can collaborate with you to assess the current state of your Knowledge Engagement and offer the right KM solutions for its improvement and growth. We listen. We collaborate and innovate. We deliver customized Knowledge Management Solutions.