Knowledge is essential when it comes to the day-to-day running of your business or organisation. Having a knowledge base is one of the easiest ways to cut back on training time, make remote work more efficient and have a landing point for your company’s key information and company goals.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what an effective knowledge base is, the benefits of using one, and how to organise a knowledge base to ensure a seamless experience for your employees. Let’s take a look!
A knowledge base is a central system where all important company knowledge, including training materials, company goals, technical information, product and services information, marketing information and more, is stored.
From enhanced productivity to a more seamless onboarding experience for new employees, here are just a few benefits of a knowledge base for your company:
With so many companies now working remotely, it’s important to have a knowledge base that allows employees to access key information while working. Not being in the office makes it difficult for employees to ask a quick question of a colleague. Asking a question of a colleague online can lead to delays, particularly with asynchronous working.
Having an easily accessible knowledge base allows for more efficient remote working, saving time on unnecessary communication.
Onboarding new employees is easier than ever when you have a functional, well-organised knowledge base. New employees are able to independently search for important information and familiarise themselves with their new company and its aims, saving time and company resources spent on extensive training periods.
In addition, employees are much more likely to feel confident in their professional abilities when they have easy access to crucial tools and information that helps them grow.
With readily-accessible information to help them improve their performance, employees are better able to advance and contribute.
With all important information easily accessible from one digital interface, a knowledge base helps employees remain productive during working hours.
According to data from McKinsey, a whopping 20% of company time is spent searching for information on any given working day, whether it be searching for documents in filing cabinets, trying to source information from disconnected online systems or by asking questions of colleagues. A knowledge base facilitates fast searching and easy-to-access information, company and employee productivity rises.
Offering access to a knowledge base is one of many ways you can engage your employees with their organisation, improve their job satisfaction and foster employer trust. By giving them insight into the company’s goals, ethos, successes and collective knowledge, you’re reinforcing that they’re valuable and trusted team members. This can lead to a more cohesive working environment and higher employee retention.
According to Adobe, employees spend an average 3 hours per day checking, writing, and responding to emails. With a knowledge base in place, employees can spend less time emailing back-and-forth on key questions, and your organisation’s knowledge base can be adapted to provide easy reference on frequent questions or common queries. Having a knowledge base will also ensure employees don’t receive outdated information.
When it comes to creating a company knowledge base, there are three key factors to ensure maximum efficiency:
Essential to any knowledge base, is that it should have a good search engine. When working against the clock, it’s important to be able to readily access relevant information, without having to scroll and browse for an hour to find what you’re looking for.
An enterprise search experience increases productivity and saves time by delivering relevant search results quickly. This includes features like refiners, a consistent search experience across desktop, mobile and web and even connectors to external data. An optimised search function is the easiest way to ensure a positive, efficient user experience, so it’s important that knowledge base software supports this function.
Employees want to get straight to the point when looking for information; with a long to-do list and important tasks to get finished on time, it’s important that the content in your knowledge base can be easily located and accessed.
Employees will have different preferences when it comes to finding information: some rely on search while others prefer menus (an organised list of links). Features like mega menus, filtering and dynamic web parts that provide relevant information in the context of the user’s search, help employees find what they need fast.
Integration of data and existing tools is essential for building a future-proof knowledge base. It’s important to break down silos across departments and teams, to consolidate data and have one source of truth. By bringing data together in a knowledge base, businesses are better able to understand and respond to their customer needs, which in turn leads to growth.
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