There are several factors that are essential for running a business successfully. In addition to having a strategic mind and sufficient resources, there is also keeping up with the trends and responding accordingly. However, one of the buzz phrases used when talking about optimizing a business is knowledge management. What does it mean?
There is no exact definition, as knowledge management means something different for each company. That being said, knowledge management is, as the name says, knowing how to acquire and properly utilize knowledge on any topic you might need.
Consider the number of employees in your company. They all have special skills that make them unique. In a case where you need to make a decision or solve a problem, the most efficient way to do it is to turn to the employee who is the most likely to possess the knowledge you require. This is pretty simplified, but that’s the gist of it. If people within the company know how to get the relevant information and distribute it to where it’s needed most, any business endeavor you are undertaking already has an advantage.
There is also the issue of doing the work. If someone knows how to perform a task more efficiently than their peers, the success of your business rests on their ability and willingness to share what they have learned.
Why Is It Important?
That’s a good question. We’ve already determined that proper knowledge management can increase productivity and efficiency. Conversely, poor management leads to profit loss. Let us consider a hypothetical scenario.
You have several departments, including Finances, IT, and HR. One of your IT employees has noticed that there is a way to cut your spending by a certain percentage on a resource. They notify their manager or one of the higher-ups. If the person in question is willing to listen, you are looking at decreased overhead. However, if they believe all the people are in their respective departments for a reason, they might be tempted to disregard the input from someone who should only deal with computer issues. That’s when you have a problem: you had knowledge at your disposal and you didn’t utilize it properly. This puts you at a disadvantage towards your competitors.
Willingness to Cooperate
There are two types of workers in any given company – those that want to get the job done and get paid and those that are passionate about what they are doing and are always looking for ways to improve. It is the owner’s and the manager’s responsibility to turn their workers to the latter category. How to do that? By creating a working environment where the employees are glad to be there.
An unhappy worker is less likely to be willing to share their insights with their peers and superiors. This is a shame, as proper knowledge management relies heavily on the employees being willing to pass on what they know.
Once you’ve acquired some knowledge, it is a good idea to forego the implementation of new policies without due explanation for them. People who are comfortable in their post will not respond kindly to change, especially if they don’t know the cause or the reason. When implementing a new policy make sure you listen to the workers and their input regarding it. Will it make their jobs easier or harder?