Knowledge is key for today's organizations. Every organization pays employees for the knowledge they possess and the ability to put that knowledge to use. Yet, most organizations are not providing these "knowledge workers" with a way to collect, manage and share their knowledge with the rest of the organization.
What these organizations often don't realize is the benefits of implementing a Knowledge Management System that gives knowledge workers a place to shine. Companies sometimes do this because they're not sure what a knowledge management system is supposed to be or how it works to improve employee productivity.
What is a Knowledge Worker?
Peter Drucker coined the term "knowledge worker" in his book "The Landmarks of Tomorrow" and deemed anyone who worked primarily with information or developed and used knowledge in the workplace to be a knowledge worker.
Drucker also considered a knowledge worker's productivity to be "the next frontier of management", yet many companies are still struggling to get the most out of their knowledge workers.
Today, most view the definition of a knowledge worker like Alexander Kjerulf: anyone who works with information rather than physically producing stuff.
What is a Knowledge Management System?
A Knowledge Management System is an application designed to capture all the information within your organization and make it easily available to your employees, anywhere, anytime. In other words, a KMS is a knowledge repository software system. Most KMS provide an "information hub" where content can be created, organized and redistributed through search tools and other features that let users find answers quickly.
Some of the tangible benefits of using KMS include:
Improved distribution of knowledge - Knowledge that previously resided with one individual is now made available on-demand for the rest of your organization.
Greater information accuracy and consistency - When everyone in an organization can access and contribute to a comprehensive internal knowledge base, the quality of information improves.
Increased employee satisfaction - Knowledge workers want to share their knowledge and be recognized for it. KMS with gamification reward users for participating and lead to improved employee satisfaction.
Less time spent looking for answers - A comprehensive internal knowledge base with powerful search functions saves employees time when searching for answers to their questions and also reduces interruptions and distractions.
Faster on-boarding of new employees - New employees have a wealth of information at their fingertips to immediately start finding answers to the many questions they have.
Retention of knowledge when employees leave - Capture the knowledge you pay your employees for and keep it, even if they move on to another position or organization.