HR is, in many ways, about managing information: things like interviews, feedback, jobs ads etc. This information is constantly multiplying, which can make looking for a particular piece of information feel like you’re searching for a needle in a haystack. One way HR managers can get a grip on this information is by implementing a knowledge management strategy.
What is knowledge management?
A knowledge management system is anything you use to store and manage knowledge. This includes files, documents, and even emails or instant messages. Basically, any form of communication that conveys important information about your organization. A good knowledge management system makes it easy to summarize, store, and retrieve knowledge, as well as encourage learning within the organization.
What does knowledge management for HR look like?
Businesses of all sizes continue to adopt cloud-based applications that are simplifying HR knowledge management.
For example, it is now possible to procure tools that automate the onboarding of new starters: add them to your system and they will send an automated chain of emails that gathers, processes and stores signed documents. Simple, automated knowledge management.
For existing employees, there is a range of self-service knowledge base tools to choose from. Think of knowledge bases as libraries. It’s where your company policies and information go to get organised into easily digestible content. These self-service libraries give your staff the information they need when they need it and are used for all sorts of things: holiday allowances, policies, training and more.
Collaborative software and instant messaging platforms make it easy for people to share both explicit and tacit information in real time. This helps not only to improve collaboration but also to disseminate time-sensitive information on a grand scale.
According to Slack’s Future of Work study, 91% of workers are interested in feeling closer to their colleagues. By gathering, organizing, and sharing tacit knowledge with the right tools at work, you can provide an environment where people can establish more meaningful relationships. The result is increased trust between team members and a more satisfied and productive team overall.
According to a Gallup study, employees who have high confidence in their organization's financial future are nine times as likely to be engaged in their jobs compared with those who have lower confidence.
Similarly, a lack of transparency in how knowledge is shared and used to make decisions often leads to gaps in employee knowledge. It also chokes off opportunities for growth and innovation. If everyone is on the same page, they can work together to improve the organization’s explicit and tacit knowledge bases.
But, with proper investment in knowledge management systems, it will become increasingly easier for businesses to disseminate information throughout their workforces. Not just when it comes to company financials and strategies, but also with lessons learned.
Connor works as an Insights Manager for Twine Intranet. He helps companies build better digital workplaces.