If you have ever worked in a large office, one of the most frustrating things you can experience is finding that one person that knows the answer to your question. You would think that more than one person would know the answer. The second most frustrating experience is that there is more than one person that knows the answer, but each one gives a different answer. This happens frequently in large offices, but can happen in small ones as well. It leaves you walking away and shaking your head wondering why there isn’t a system of knowledge management tools and techniques in your office.
Don’t just walk away and get frustrated, take action. Start the ball rolling towards creating a knowledge base for your office. One of the first things that every office should have is a manual. That manual should be designed for new employees. It should cover the basic knowledge required to perform a job for that company. There can be additional manuals for each department or specific positions to share the knowledge among employees in the same or similar roles.
As anyone that has ever read a manual knows though, manuals can become outdated very quickly. It’s not always possible to print a new manual. This is why there should also be an online knowledge base for employees in the company. This can be stored as files on a server, or better yet a website on your company’s intranet. This will allow the knowledge base to be searched by anyone that works for your company.
The knowledge base should include information such as company policies and standard operating procedures. There should also be an area that answers questions that frequently come up but are not covered in the manual. Do not hesitate to repeat information that is in the manual either, as many people fail to refer back to it after working to the company for an extended period of time. By having a knowledge base that is searchable for everyone in your company you can improve the chances of questions being answered the same way by different employees in different positions and departments.
Knowledge bases are becoming more popular in the workplace today. They provide an opportunity for knowledge to be shared by those in different departments. It also preserves knowledge when an employee leaves the company. Knowledge is valuable, and should be readily available.