The average employee is disengaged. According to Gallup, only 34% of workers have skin in the game. While that number is on the rise, it’s still far too low. The polling data tells us that engagement stems, in part, from employees feeling as if their insight is a valuable contribution to the organization.
Could this lack of engagement be the result of our inability to honor the collective knowledge of our employees? This is exactly where knowledge management initiatives can help. Knowledge management engages employees in subtle ways to let them know their work experience, effort, and intellectual capital are a valuable part of the company’s culture.
Here’s how knowledge management initiatives could be a game changer for your organization.
Intellectual Capital Equals Competitive Advantage
A review of the available literature shows that “organizational competitiveness [depends] more on the aspect of intellectual capital than the aspect of labor.” What sets a company apart is the intellectual capital and work experiences of its labor pool. Knowledge management seeks to harness that intellectual capital and gives companies a way to optimize their collaborative intelligence.
Knowledge management helps improve corporate productivity by ensuring that the right information reaches the right people when they need it most, eliminating individual and departmental silos. These initiatives cross people, technology, data, workflows, and other business tools that we use every day, democratizing information and creating competitive advantage.
But how can this process also help recharge your employee pool and enlist your employees in helping drive the company’s success?
Employee Engagement and Knowledge Management
A recent Gallup article says, “Many organizations still approach employees with cold rationality — providing financial perks and incentives while ignoring the emotional components of work.”
Ask most HR managers, and they will acknowledge that employees are better engaged when they share more than just rote work; knowledge workers want to add value to the world. Gallup defines engagement as employees who are “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.”
Knowledge management initiatives seek to establish a systematic process for acquiring, organizing, and sharing explicit and tacit employee knowledge to improve performance. Employee engagement is naturally a side effect of this process by reinforcing the individual employee’s contribution to the shared knowledge pool. The benefit for employers is that engaged employees are happier and more productive. Gallup says organizations that have high employee engagement reap four times the earnings-per-share growth of their competitors and have 21% higher profitability.
Organizations can use knowledge management initiatives to engage employees by creating a learning and sharing environment. Knowledge management harnesses the collaborative intelligence in an organization, empowering employees to share best practices to contribute to the greater good of the team. This collaboration can re-engage employees by giving them a vehicle to ensure that their voices and opinions are heard and that their insights become part of the fabric of the company. Such a collaboration reinforces to employees that they are active contributors to the organization’s mission.
Employee Knowledge is Your Top Asset
Employee engagement may be an unintentional side effect of knowledge management — but in terms of competitive advantage, it offers high return on investment. Increased employee engagement results in not only a happier workforce but also higher corporate productivity and profitability.
Unika was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.
Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.
Unika’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your Unika environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.
Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.
Organize and populate knowledge into a consolidated page that can be shared internally or externally with clients.
Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.
Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.