It seems almost trite at this stage to say that the world of work has changed.
The last two years have upended traditional working patterns and compelled organisations to adapt to the new reality of remote and hybrid working. What seemed at first like it might be a stopgap for keeping business going has become a fundamental shift in the way we work.
And that comes with major challenges for knowledge management.
Everyone, from management on down, has had to rethink how—and where—they work. Not only that, but in the hybrid workplace, the way in which organisational knowledge is shared and cultivated needs to be reassessed.
Here are some practical ways to adapt your organisation’s knowledge management for hybrid working:
Collect and curate knowledge
When it comes to assessing your organisation’s knowledge base, the Bus Test is a useful touchstone. Is your company’s intellectual capital tangible and easily accessible? Or is it limited to the confines of individual employees’ heads?
If someone isn’t in the office today, or—perish the thought—gets hit by a bus, how do you make sure that the valuable knowledge they have isn’t lost?
Encourage your employees to document their processes and upload them to your shared knowledge hub, so their knowledge is available, even when they’re not. Appoint knowledge curators who can manage employees’ knowledge assets. They can make sure the pool of knowledge is easily navigable for whoever needs it.
Break down silos and foster collaboration
While work life has become more flexible, it has also become more fragmented. When teams are dispersed, networks for interaction and collaboration just don’t come as easily. When the pool of communications is reduced, there’s also an increasing tendency for organisational knowledge to be confined in silos.
A centralised digital knowledge management hub allows your employees to share their knowledge, and to find the information they need quickly and easily, whether they are in or out of the office.
A platform such as Learn Amp enables employees to aggregate their knowledge, and empowers them not just to contribute what they know, but to learn from and collaborate with each other to put that knowledge to us.
Centralise communications around your knowledge hub
Especially in the remote or hybrid environment, where face-to-face interaction between teams is reduced, there’s a greater potential for knowledge to become even more siloed in individual email or IM replies between colleagues.
Encourage employees to make use of your knowledge management platform instead—for example, to send knowledge hub links or even use video messages so that the knowledge can be more easily accessible and shareable.
Knowledge management tools like Learn Amp make it easier for staff to communicate in a way that enhances knowledge sharing.
For example, rather than repeatedly talking individual teammates through your approach to a particular process, employees can instead self-record and share video explainers that can be tagged and uploaded to the centralised hub so that the knowledge is available to anyone who needs to access it or learn from it.
Get actionable insights around Employee Experience and People Development
Design your knowledge management for people, not places
In the world of hybrid work, employees face new challenges, such as fatigue caused by invasive digital distractions, an overload of virtual interactions, and difficulties in disconnecting from work. In fact, according to the Gartner 2021 Hybrid Work Employee Survey, fatigue is responsible for a 38% reduction in effective team collaboration. With the hybrid workplace here to stay, it’s important to develop person-centred knowledge management processes.
From the word go, encourage employees to see the value and worth in their knowledge and what they can bring to the team and the organisation. Foster social connections within teams, with tools like instant messaging or even gamified leaderboards, so that, even when working remotely, employees can feel connected and engaged in a supportive work community.
As remote and hybrid work become more and more the new normal, and with employees less and less bound by their location, it’s all the more important to ensure your organisational knowledge base evolves too. To keep your knowledge management robust yet flexible:
make use of digital tools to amalgamate and curate the wealth of knowledge in your staff
foster collaboration and engagement within teams and across the organisation
establish communication channels that enhance organisational learning
And above all, nurture your team and all they have to offer.