Every day, companies face a wide variety of risks related to factors from finances to security and fraud to corporate reputation. Each of those threats has the potential to have a serious impact on the company. For example, according to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2022 is $4.35 million. And those risks are only increasing. In one survey, 59% of respondents indicated that they believe the volume and complexity of risks are growing extensively over time.
While you can’t definitively avoid every potential threat, there are ways to manage and limit exposure to many risks. Implementing a comprehensive knowledge management platform and strategy can mitigate many potential threats, including service continuity, reputational damage, and institutional knowledge loss.
Below, we outline a few of the ways that knowledge management minimizes risk, so your business can avoid costly implications and succeed well into the future.
Preserve Company Knowledge
In any company, turnover is normal and expected. However, in the midst of the Great Resignation, turnover has risen. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual turnover rate (including voluntary and nonvoluntary separations) was 47.2% in 2021. Every time an employee walks out the door, you risk them taking their institutional knowledge and individual expertise with them—if you don’t have a knowledge management process in place to preserve it.
This poses a few different risks to a company. First, it makes it difficult for new team members to get up to speed quickly, as there is insufficient training and process information available. It also poses a continuity risk related to the customer experience. If new customer-facing employees don’t have access to necessary information, it may be difficult for them to provide the expected level of service.
With an effective knowledge management strategy that preserves knowledge from existing employees, you can ensure that incoming workers have the information to learn their roles and essential information quickly and efficiently.
Keep Regulation and Compliance Information Up to Date
Regulatory and compliance requirements can change quickly, especially in highly regulated industries, such as financial services. New regulations are introduced often, and over time, current regulations may be revised or interpreted in new ways. It takes time and resources to keep up with these changes; however, employees often must prioritize other responsibilities over monitoring regulatory updates. This makes it difficult for everyone to understand and act on current requirements.
With a knowledge management system and strategy, you only have to update compliance and regulatory information in one place. Then, everyone who has access to that system—in other words, your entire workforce—has access to that information. Rather than asking every employee to spend time monitoring regulatory agency websites for new information, they know exactly where to go to find the most up-to-date information. This helps organizations avoid hefty non-compliance fines and provide accurate, high-quality service to customers.
Decrease Work Errors
When employees don’t know how to perform a particular task or resolve a certain customer issue, there are a few common tactics they employ. They could, for example, ask a coworker, who may or may not provide accurate advice. They might look through past emails or documents on their computer to find some guidance. Or, they may simply wing it and hope for the best.
It’s easy to see how in any of those scenarios, the employee may not handle the issue in the prescribed, ideal way—simply because he or she didn’t have access to the right knowledge.
A well-thought-out knowledge management strategy and platform can greatly mitigate this risk. A knowledge management system centralizes all company information so employees know exactly where to go when they need help resolving an issue, and they can be confident that the information they find is accurate and up to date. This not only streamlines the process of finding information, but it also ensures that employees make fewer errors.
Reduce Risk of Customers Accessing Outdated Information
It’s frustrating enough when a customer has to reach out to support multiple times—but it becomes an even worse experience if they receive conflicting or inconsistent information depending on who they talk to or the communication channel they choose.
While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, this kind of issue can, over time, lead to consumer mistrust and ultimately harm your company’s reputation. According to Salesforce, 76% of customers expect consistent interactions across different departments, and 54% say it often feels like sales, support, and marketing teams don’t share information.
To deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience, all of your employees should have access to the same up-to-date, reliable information about the company and its products, processes, and policies. Implementing a knowledge management system can help ensure that everyone on your team always refers to the correct information. The most advanced systems include tools to help you identify duplicate content, schedule content reviews, and flag posts for review, so you can avoid having competing versions of documents and ensure that employees and customers only access current information.
You can’t avoid all possible threats to your business. But there are actions you can take to mitigate those risks. Implementing a knowledge management strategy can go a long way in ensuring that your employees stay up to date, provide accurate information to your customers, deliver consistent service, and avoid costly errors. Ultimately, an investment in knowledge is a worthwhile investment in your company’s future.