Knowledge is readily available these days and is one of a company’s most important resources. In order for it to be used in a targeted manner, good knowledge management with systematic knowledge transfer is crucial. In this way, you ensure the successful exchange and sharing of knowledge in your company. What is there to consider?
Why is knowledge transfer important?
A good transfer of knowledge in the company is particularly important to avoid a loss of knowledge when changing employees. At this stage, there is often no time for successful knowledge transfer because
- the knowledge holder changes role within the company
- the knowledge holder leaves the company (e.g. dismissal or retirement)
- knowledge support fails or is unavailable (e.g. vacation or illness)
In principle, all relevant knowledge should be secured and shared proactively and sustainably so that all company employees can benefit from it. The larger your business, the more knowledge transfer needs to extend across your corporate network to secure your knowledge.
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge management goes beyond the mere transfer of knowledge and, in the business environment, means the systematic recording, collection, use and transfer of knowledge. The objective is to make the knowledge concentrated in the company accessible in the long term and to use it productively in order to generate long-term competitive advantages for the company. Business knowledge is based on knowledge of employees, data and information.
Knowledge management can be divided into three main elements:
- Learn and develop new knowledge
- Build a knowledge database and actively use existing knowledge
- Transmit know-how and promote the exchange of knowledge
Role of knowledge management for companies
We live in a knowledge society: This means that those who have knowledge that others do not have have a competitive advantage. The correct use and further development of knowledge is therefore crucial for companies to remain successful and competitive in the long term. Through the systematic organization and availability of knowledge within the framework of knowledge management, your company achieves a profitable use of knowledge as a resource.
Benefits of knowledge management:
- Time saving: If you save your knowledge in digital form and make it available in a central location, your colleagues can access information from their own domain or other domains more quickly. The training period for new specialist areas can also be shortened in this way.
- Easy availability of information: Thanks to digitization, knowledge can be made accessible easily and inexpensively.
- Unlimited access: Employees can access relevant information regardless of time and location and are not dependent on other people.
- Quick problem solving: By structuring knowledge and information into different categories, answers can be found quickly.
- Superior Innovative Power: A lack of knowledge slows down businesses and new innovations. Networked knowledge management increases the flow of information in the business and makes knowledge more accessible to innovation teams.
knowledge management challenges
The biggest challenge with knowledge management is that relevant knowledge is usually spread across the company and across different departments. The aim is to anchor knowledge and skills in the company at different levels. Companies must therefore first address a number of questions:
- How do you want to capture knowledge?
- How should it be made available in the company?
- Who acts as a knowledge carrier in your company?
- How to create a knowledge sharing framework?
- How to network internal experts?
- Where do you store your knowledge in a structured way?
Success factors for successful knowledge management
The right tool
Order and optimal networking are basic conditions for the structuring and provision of knowledge and information. Special knowledge management tools serve as a tool here. They make it possible to store, retrieve and transmit knowledge. In the digital age, IT systems such as modern CRM systems, intranets or knowledge databases are particularly widespread as knowledge management tools.
Business structures and processes
For knowledge management to work in a long-term business, it must be embedded in business structures and processes. Simply appointing a person responsible for knowledge management is not enough. It must be actively used in all departments and by all employees. Knowledge management can only be successfully implemented if documentation and knowledge exchange are firmly integrated into work processes and structures and are lived in the company.
Employees and external knowledge providers
Your employees are the key to successful knowledge management. After all, the information stored in a knowledge tool is only useful if it is actively used, exchanged and updated by your employees. The experienced corporate culture of knowledge exchange and cooperation creates the right framework for this. With a knowledge culture and a suitable tool, you can also network external partners or customers with your knowledge management.
Conclusion: from a good knowledge culture to successful knowledge management
Digitization offers many opportunities to make knowledge quickly and easily accessible. Successful knowledge management in a company not only requires a suitable tool, but also a good structuring and a corresponding knowledge culture in the company. Knowledge management can only be successful in the long term if knowledge management is known, accepted and actively used. A good culture of error and a working atmosphere characterized by collaborative work are essential for this.