Companies have long realised that managing their knowledge is crucial to business performance. When there are no processes and technologies put in place to help knowledge capturing and sharing, everyone is left in the dark:
As a rule of thumb, the proper management of knowledge inside a company can bring significant benefits to everyone. Specialists mention that:
But the benefits are not only visible at a general company level. Each team can instil and benefit from a culture of knowledge sharing. And giving employees the right technology to make it happen is essential.
In fact, the ability to easily share and search across knowledge are two of the most important elements of a knowledge-sharing platform that are of help to every single team. Let’s understand this in detail.
1. Marketing and Communication Teams
Centralising all marketing and communication documents in one single source of truth is one of the main benefits of having a knowledge-sharing platform in place. Marketing Executives can easily share with interested departments relevant collaterals and ensure that they are always up to date and ready to be used. Interested departments can give their feedback on the shared materials, which helps create a culture of collaboration and feedback.
In addition to this, the Marketing Department can use the company’s knowledge-sharing platform to make accessible existent customer feedback. Usually, companies invest a great deal of budget into conducting client studies but fail to centralise and make use of them. With the help of tags, knowledge-sharing platforms can help Marketing Research Managers to structure their findings around key topics. After that, knowledge can be easily made available to everyone who needs client data in their daily activity.
And when it comes to monitoring competitors, with the help of templates such as the Competition Battle Card, the task gets done faster and better.
2. Sales and Commercial Teams
CRM solutions are considered to be the go-to technology for sales teams. However, these platforms require a lot of tedious manual data entry while offering little insights in return. They do not provide sales teams with the level of information and support that they need to succeed.
Here is where a Knowledge Sharing Platform kicks in. It can offer the entire sales department (regardless of location or job seniority) a trusted place to find essential knowledge.
Moreover, it can serve as a place for collaboration on strategic accounts, RFPs, essential deals and international projects.
And that is not all. If the knowledge-sharing platform is open company-wide, it offers an excellent asynchronous communication channel with marketing and development teams around client feedback. With easy to use templates like the Sales Success Story or Customer Story Brief, spreading valuable feedback is a job of a few minutes. After all, your salespeople are the ones that know your market and clients best. It would be a pity to let this knowledge go to waste.
3. Operational Teams
Centralising Standard Operating Procedures and Policies in one single central source of truth can help everyone have increased clarity of how to proceed on different topics. This eliminates the need for shoulder tapping and helps reduce the risks of policy violation and fines.
A knowledge-sharing platform offers teams crystal clear information about procedures to follow and a place to share incidents that could pose an operational and financial risk to the company.
For instance, with the Incident Report template, staff can communicate to HQ important incidents in a matter of minutes. This ensures that all events are monitored in a structured manner and acted upon with diligence. And what is more, they can help the operational team to improve existing processes based on real-life feedback.
4. Innovation and Product Development
Dozens of studies confirm it: knowledge sharing and innovation are intrinsically linked. So for companies with an innovation function, a knowledge-sharing platform is paramount. A survey of more than 200 US engineers in the automotive industry showed that “shared knowledge of customers, suppliers, and internal capabilities” directly impacts the performance of product development practices.
Teams can capture insights in a structured manner and make them available to everyone interested. One great example is the After Action Review, which can be used after every development milestone to help teams understand what could be improved next time. After all, knowledge is power, and innovation opportunities are lost when such critical insights are not captured and used.
5. Customer Support and Customer Success
Customer-facing teams are probably the ones who can benefit most directly and immediately from a knowledge-sharing platform. They are always in touch with clients, and having instant and trusted access to knowledge from all company areas is crucial to their job performance.
Luckily, with the help of Q&A templates, they can easily refer to documented knowledge to respond to some of the most complex customer inquiries. Having all of these frequently asked questions centralised and answered in a single source of truth brings about incredible improvement in team performance and the ability to serve clients.
And in addition to using existent information, they can also share new customer insights with team leaders or other departments. Such a free flow of real-time information captured systematically can help everyone understand what could be done better in terms of Customer Experience.
6. HR and People Development Teams
HR Teams bring such an invaluable contribution to each company, and they handle a considerable complexity of projects at the same time. Having in place a knowledge-sharing platform for the entire company can ease their activity on many levels.
Firstly, they can automate recurring topics, such as onboarding checklists or internal newsletters. Secondly, they can quickly communicate important updates with the help of custom notifications. And thirdly, they can give a digital twist to the learning and development process by centralising and sharing with teams training materials in the form of video, audio or Powerpoint content.
HR professionals are in fact, considered to be the “custodians and facilitators” of knowledge management. They play an essential part in ensuring everyone in the company makes the most of existing knowledge.
7. Transverse Projects and Collaboration
As shown above, every single department of a company can reap the benefits of knowledge-sharing. But this does not apply only to departments. Project teams or transverse initiatives can also use the company’s knowledge-sharing platform to create dedicated spaces. These spaces can be made for each key initiative or project and be used to share updates, meeting minutes or best practices. Having such a collaborative place to document key projects and initiatives is beneficial for everyone:
After all, as research reflects, “project environments are highly knowledge-intensive“, and it makes absolute sense to provide these teams the right tech tools to make the most of these insights.
8. Top Management and Team Leaders
Top management can also greatly benefit from putting in place a knowledge-sharing platform, directly and indirectly:
With such a trusted environment for knowledge sharing, top management can ensure that their most important messages reach teams and that everyone has a safe place to ask questions, share their feedback or voice concerns.
Moreover, with templates such as the Team Meetings one, managers can ensure that information about their team are easily made available to top management, who needs to stay informed of how things are evolving.
9. The company as a whole
It is clear that with such a direct and visible impact on the daily activity of each department, everyone will eventually benefit from a culture of company-wide knowledge sharing.
All of these are outcomes that you can start seeing in your company just weeks after implementing a knowledge-sharing platform.
Ready to start your company-wide knowledge-sharing project?
It is essential to remember. In addition to best-in-class technology, successful knowledge-sharing initiatives require trust, strong leadership and appropriate change management practices.
Luckily at Elium we can help you with both. Our leading European-DNA Knowledge Sharing Software Solution has been chosen by some of the most successful global companies in FMCG, Banking or Retail.
And our colleagues from Customer Success have over ten years of experience in managing successful knowledge-sharing projects.
Want to start? Let’s talk and see what Elium can do for your organisation.