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Using Knowledge Management to Improve Internal Communications

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Using Knowledge Management to Improve Internal Communications

Jan 28, 2023   |  By
KMI Guest Blogger Amanda Winstead

Knowledge management (KM) is all about using the best tools and resources to organize and make the best use of company knowledge. It only makes sense to utilize it to improve internal communications and ensure everyone is on the same page. When you’re able to streamline communication efforts between everyone in your business, you’ll see an increase in productivity and a boost in company culture.

However, that can be easier said than done if you aren’t sure how to make knowledge management work for you in that capacity.

With that in mind, let’s dig a little deeper into some of the benefits of knowledge sharing within your organization, and cover some knowledge management tips you can use to better foster internal communications.

The Benefits of KM to Improve Internal Communications

There’s no denying we’re living in a period of economic uncertainty. Coming out of the pandemic, so many aspects of our economy feel unstable, from supply chain issues to inflation rates. During these times of uncertainty, small businesses can benefit from better knowledge management as improved communication and collaboration will make it easier to deal with potential crises. The more in-tune your team is with one another, the easier it will be to create strategies that directly respond to economic uncertainty and increase cost-effectiveness.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using KM to improve internal communications. You’ll also experience benefits like:

  • Giving employees a clearer view of your entire organization;
  • Keeping employees engaged;
  • Extra dimension to the workplace.

A better work environment will also trickle down to your customers. Knowledge management that boosts internal communication can help businesses connect organizational silos. Doing so creates a more streamlined, seamless customer experience. When departments are siloed, there’s a greater risk of obstruction on the customer journey. Collaboration efforts and better communication remove those obstructions and help the journey move forward smoothly.

Best Practices for Better Communication

Understanding the importance and benefits of knowledge management to improve internal communication is only the beginning. How can you implement these strategies so they’ll actually improve your business?

Start by creating an internal knowledge base. A system that is strictly meant to be used by your team will help to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to specific projects and data analytics. You can put management tools in place to decide which employees have access to certain parts of the program, or specific documents. However, the more crossover you allow, the easier it will be to streamline communication efforts. Your company’s internal knowledge base should include:

  • Basic company information and reports;
  • HR material;
  • Training material;
  • Sales collateral;
  • Documentation;
  • Media;
  • Design files;
  • Legal files;
  • Customer service information and documents.

In addition to having these things accessible to everyone, you can utilize programs like Slack and Microsoft Teams to ensure everyone can stay connected if they have questions or comments. Put practices in place that allow everyone to see when something is being edited, changed, or moved somewhere. To do this, train your entire team so they can know about the process for using your internal knowledge base.

In addition to building a strong base, some of the best practices for improving internal communications include creating two-way channels for feedback, making sure your communication efforts have a steady stream, and keeping things equal across the workforce. Obviously, there are some documents and programs not every employee needs to see. But, it’s important to strike a healthy balance so certain employees don’t feel like they’re being left out of the communication efforts.

Most importantly, avoid communication overload. Having a lot of information in front of your team is helpful, but too much can be overwhelming, especially if multiple people are communicating at once, or the programs and tools you’re using are distracting. Knowledge management should be used to keep things organized and streamlined, not chaotic and random. If you aren’t able to train your team properly, they could end up getting burnt out by a communication overload.

Integrate KM Into All Departments

The one caveat with KM is that you must integrate KM for all departments in a business — not just one or some. In fact, you may even find it’s easier to put the best practices above into place if you’re using the same tools and resources to better manage and share knowledge inter-departmentally. Having a solid KM system and training everyone on how to use it is the best way to utilize your resources and get the most out of your experience.

Things like customer relationship systems, automation systems, inventory management systems, and document management systems can all help to connect different teams throughout the workplace. Not only will that improve internal communications, but it will improve your productivity and customer experience. Specifically, KM tools will help to empower your customer service teams by:

●      Helping team members understand their roles;

●      Improving the decision-making process;

●      Creating opportunities,

The right system will improve your products, services, strategies, and sales. As a result, you’ll boost your profitability and stay one step ahead of your competitors. A company that works fluidly together is a successful one. Keep these tips in mind and utilize KM resources and best practices to improve internal communications while building a better brand environment.

 

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