Summer is here, so get ready to see a lot more out-of-office replies in your inbox over the next few months. And not just from outside contacts: your team members are planning summer vacations, too. When someone is out of the office, business doesn’t stop. It’s important for other employees to be able to step in to avoid putting projects on hold and fill those voices in the company.
But how do you ensure the necessary information is accessible when the project lead is away, or when someone leaves to retire or go to another position? This need for always-accessible information demonstrates the importance of knowledge management.
Knowledge Loss Slows You Down
Loss of knowledge is a challenge many organizations face. It’s not just a question of what to do when someone goes on vacation. What if someone wins the lottery and leaves the company unexpectedly?
Unfortunately, when someone does leave a company, whether temporarily or permanently, they will take their expertise with them. Avoid the detrimental loss of information and decreased productivity by implementing a strategy for the management and transfer of knowledge using a collaborative software.
The primary functions of knowledge management and collaboration software are to keep your whole organization actively engaged in knowledge sharing and communication. Rather than leaving team members scrambling to gain insight into a project, the right tools will increase productivity and improve efficiencies, even in transition periods.
Establishing Collaborative Strategies Before It’s Too Late
If you don’t have a knowledge management strategy in place when an employee does leave the office (temporarily or permanently), you’ll feel it. Organizations that establish a collaborative culture and knowledge management strategy early on encourage employee engagement and daily knowledge sharing, making it easier to adapt during times of transition. With shared knowledge, organizations don’t have to worry about jeopardizing productivity because all answers should already be in one easy-to-search, accessible place.
Encouraging Engagement Early
The functions of knowledge management will go to waste when employees aren’t using their knowledge sharing software to its fullest capabilities. Your organization will see the highest success rate in your collaboration practices if you put your employees in a position to thrive.
Highlight the benefits and importance of knowledge management early, and encourage your employees to engage by rewarding use of your knowledge sharing software. Help your team understand that knowledge management and collaboration software will not only benefit the company as a whole but will also make their lives earlier. Then, when an employee is absent, their knowledge will still be available and work won’t slow down.
Ultimately, an effective knowledge management plan is about more than information sharing; it is a collaborative strategy as well. By introducing a system for employees to proactively document their responsibilities and knowledge and provide notes on projects, organizations will avoid the panic that so often grips an office when a team member is absent.