The concept of knowledge management has been around for some time. But as COVID-19 hit the business world and remote work has become the new normal for countries across the globe, enabling safe, secure knowledge sharing—no matter where employees are working—has become more critical than ever.
The right knowledge management tools are critical in managing, growing, and scaling a remote-first business. Effective knowledge sharing enables easier onboarding and training, better organizing and sharing of critical knowledge and information, and making sure your distributed team has access to what they need, when they need it—which makes for a better employee experience (which, in the midst of the Great Resignation, is an absolute must).
But not all knowledge management is created equal. If you want your knowledge-sharing processes to empower your team (and your business), you need to do it right—and that means investing in the right internal knowledge management systems.
But what, exactly, are the benefits of internal knowledge sharing? Why is investing in the right systems so critical? And how can these tools empower remote teams to be more productive and effective?
What does knowledge management look like?
First things first. Before we jump into knowledge management tools, let’s quickly cover what, exactly, knowledge management looks like and how it was shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the pandemic hit and companies were forced to move out of their offices and into the digital space, many were left scrambling to figure out successfully keep their businesses moving forward—and how to provide a seamless, positive experience to their customers.
Today, companies have (for the most part) figured out how to serve their customers while working remotely. And, as such, the focus has shifted to creating that same seamless, positive experience for their employees—and that means turning to solutions like knowledge management.
IBM defines knowledge management as “the process of identifying, organizing, storing, and disseminating information within an organization.” Company internal knowledge sharing is always important; companies that more effectively organize knowledge within their organizations are going to be more successful than their less-organized counterparts. But the practice became especially important when companies went remote—since employees needed to be able to easily access the files, tools, and software they needed to do their job, no matter where they were working.
While some companies have opted to go with existing or in-house knowledge management solutions (like wikis), many are finding that they just aren’t intuitive enough for effective knowledge management; they don’t aggregate content in the way that employees need to effectively do their jobs while working remotely—which not only leads to lowered productivity, but also frustration, poor employee experience, and lowered morale. (Who wants to work when you can’t access what you need to get the job done?)
Luckily, many companies are now turning towards more comprehensive tools to enable more effective processes for managing and sharing knowledge across their distributed teams—and the results can be game-changing.
Take Instacart, for example. The online grocery marketplace was looking for opportunities to improve employee experience—including making it easier for their team to access the information they need, when they need it. Instacart partnered with GoLinks, which allowed them to create short, easy-to-remember go links for all the resources their employees need (whether that’s a specific tool or document). By using the go links, employees were able to easily and quickly access whatever tool, document, or information they needed—without having to search through various folders, drives, or knowledge bases to find what they were looking for. This not only increased productivity, but made for a more positive experience for Instacart employees.
“GoLinks is an easier way to access information rather than having to dig into places. It makes information instantly available versus having to search.”— Jack Canio, IT Project Manager @ Instacart
How can you use knowledge management to improve these 3 key areas critical to remote work?
As mentioned, the right knowledge management system (also known as a KMS) can be a game-changer for remote-first companies. But other than making it easier for employees to find what they’re looking for, how, exactly, does the right KMS help businesses better navigate a remote-first environment?
Remote team management
Picture this scenario. Your remote team is working on a big project—and employee A needs employee B to send them a specific file in order to move forward. But employee B is at a doctor’s appointment and doesn’t see employee A’s request—and so employee A has to wait for two hours to even get started on their part of the project.
Not exactly a recipe for productivity!
With the right KMS, employees can work asynchronously; they can easily access the files, apps, or software they need without having to wait for other employees or departments—which enables them to get work done faster and more effectively.
GoLinks takes things a step further by transforming assets into short, memorable URLs employees can easily recall and access—which further cuts down the time spent searching for what they need.
Concerned about URL security? For more information on the safety of URL links, check out this article: How do URL shorteners work?
Onboarding and training
Onboarding and training can be challenging for a new remote hire. Because they’re not sharing the same space as the trainer—or, in some cases, the same time zone—asking questions can be a challenge.
An effective knowledge management tool like GoLinks makes for better remote onboarding and training because it allows new hires to easily access the information they need—even if HR isn’t available live to answer their questions. (For example, if they have questions about benefits, instead of sending an email to HR and waiting for a response, they can just use the go link go/benefits—and immediately access all the relevant employee benefit information.)
“GoLinks is the spider-web that connects information to every organization. I don’t know why you wouldn’t have it as part of your employee experience.”— Kristen Tronsky, Chief People Officer @ DoIT International
Improve employee experience
As mentioned, in the midst of the Great Resignation, improving employee experience is more important than ever—and the right knowledge management offers an opportunity to do just that.
The right knowledge management tool allows for increased and better collaboration between remote employees—including employees on different teams and different departments. For example, let’s say you have multiple employees reaching out to IT with support requests—some simple, some complex. Instead of having to deal with each response individually, IT can use their knowledge-sharing platform to direct employees with more straightforward requests to the information they need to resolve the issue themselves (like go/support)—freeing up their time and energy to provide more in-depth support to employees with more complex IT issues.
The right knowledge-sharing tool also just makes employees’ jobs easier. When teams can easily access what they need, when they need it, they’re going to be less frustrated and more empowered to do their best work—which leads to happier, more engaged employees.
How to improve Your Knowledge Management System
Ready to improve your KMS—and take your business to the next level in the process? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Recognize the limits of your current technology. If your current knowledge management relies on wikis, knowledge bases, or Google Drive, it’s important to understand the limitations of these technologies. While you can still use them in some capacity, they’re not going to enable the kind of seamless knowledge sharing you need to empower your team’s best work. Which is why you need to…
- Invest in a company-wide internal knowledge sharing platform. Investing in a comprehensive internal knowledge sharing platform that allows employees to easily and quickly search for whatever they need—whether that’s a specific file, application, or software—is a must.
- Leverage tools like GoLinks. GoLinks goes a step above other knowledge management tools, offering a host of features that make for a more seamless employee experience—whether that’s by empowering faster knowledge sharing or simplifying the remote onboarding and training process.
Knowledge management systems (like GoLinks!) are a must in today’s remote-first world. With the right KMS, you can improve productivity, create a more seamless employee experience, and empower your team to do their work.
Want to experience first-hand how GoLinks can improve your knowledge management processes—and take your business to the next level in the process?