No matter the industry, more companies have begun to recognize that knowledge is an asset and should be shared across the workforce. To harness the value of their shared knowledge, companies have started to create a knowledge management strategy specific to their organization.
Knowledge management strategies help employees by empowering them to create, collaborate, and innovate based on shared knowledge. With an effective knowledge management strategy, workers understand where to find and share information to make informed decisions. Shared understanding leads organizations to better productivity and efficiency.
Valuing the Different Types of Knowledge
Many employees may not know the value they hold in their heads. An effective knowledge management strategy empowers workers to share this valuable knowledge to elevate the performance of others. Informing workers of the different ways in which they hold knowledge helps them better recognize the knowledge they should share.
Knowledge exists as:
- Explicit: Factual information
- Implicit: Applied information
- Tacit: Perceptive information
So many employees fail to recognize how valuable the full extent of their knowledge can be to others. Educating them about the value of these core knowledge forms increases the likelihood of sharing it with others in your organization. They need to know that sharing knowledge makes them more valuable than holding on to it.
Discovering Knowledge Needs
Before creating a knowledge management strategy, businesses need to plan to close the gaps in knowledge. Leaders should pinpoint where knowledge exists and where it doesn’t and structure goals to remedy the holes they find.
The technology used today and the fluidity of where people work increase the importance of understanding knowledge needs. Knowledge no longer sits stale as a stored data set.
As knowledge flows through digital platforms, the value increases with each additional input. Knowing what knowledge and where to harness it can improve performance and productivity in an organization.
Creating a Culture of Shared Knowledge
Most businesses have successfully captured, and stored knowledge, but not all companies understand how to foster a culture of shared understanding. Employees who don’t see the value of acting on knowledge stifle creativity and productivity, but an effective knowledge management strategy promotes a culture where employees naturally share what they know.
An organization can promote this culture by:
- Providing space for collaboration
- Recognizing leaders who share
- Encouraging others to follow the leaders
- Rewarding those who share knowledge
The more shared knowledge becomes a natural function in the workplace, the easier it will be for employees to make a habit of sharing.
To encourage the practice of an effective knowledge management strategy, businesses need to make it simple for their staff to document the knowledge they own. Giving workers the freedom to prove their knowledge in ways that best meet their productivity habits enables staff to create presentations, templates, and documents in formats and platforms they feel confident using.
Encouraging this practice allows an organization to store knowledge practically, allowing others in the company to access an entire library of company know-how that helps inform their decisions and enhance their productivity.
A practical knowledge management strategy involves everyone in an organization. Leaders play an essential role by strategizing a plan, communicating it to their workforce, encouraging sharing knowledge, and leading in that habit. Employees retain an equally critical role by recognizing the value of their expertise and sharing it effectively.
Leaders in organizations spanning the globe understand that they have employees who own essential industry knowledge. Left untapped, businesses miss the rich opportunities for collaboration and creation.
However, organizations that value shared knowledge and promote a culture of sharing in multiple forms strengthen their businesses, nurturing effective and efficient productivity and innovation that shared knowledge creates.