Sustainable knowledge management

How knowledge can be acquired and sustainably preserved in companies in times of constant change.

Sustainable knowledge management

Sustainable knowledge management 1920 1080 Daniel Beckstein

Demographic change, the desire for self-determination, and a competitive and unforgiving labor market are causing turnover rates to skyrocket. Currently, the rate is around 30% on average. The shortage of specialists and personnel in general keeps companies busy and the loss of employees is painful. But much more serious is the migration or outflow of know-how and knowledge of people from the organizations. Those responsible are desperately trying to keep this knowledge within their own four walls, but unfortunately they are relying on outdated and sometimes impractical methodologies.

Digital Adoption can help to build a sustainable knowledge management system that can be seamlessly integrated into the daily work routine and that prevents the problem at an early stage.

What knowledge about knowledge is really worth knowing

If one deals with the topic of knowledge, it quickly becomes clear that valuable information accumulated in the company by individual employees is a resource that is relevant to success. The knowledge carrier, as the person who generates it, thus becomes indispensable.

But what types of knowledge should be considered in order to build sustainable knowledge management?

> Expert knowledge

> Method and process knowledge

> Relationship knowledge

> Project knowledge

> (Work) Organizational knowledge

In addition, a distinction is made between explicit knowledge, information that can be easily communicated (which applies to most of the items listed) and implicit knowledge, heavy descriptions for which there is virtually no common paraphrase.

Knowledge should be preserved and passed on through knowledge management. The problem is that explicit knowledge has the serious disadvantage that it is very volatile.

Some studies come to the result that new learning contents are already lost after one day to over 70% others speak of 80% after 30 days. Regardless of who is right, the bottom line is that very little of the content taught is retained over the long term.

From Knowhow to Whoknows

Various tips and guides on the subject are circulating on the web. According to these, the various measures for knowledge retention and management initially concern three core areas:

> Capturing knowledge

> Preparing knowledge

> Distributing knowledge

So far so good. But when it comes to the operational implementation of these three pillars, things get a bit antiquarian. There is talk of various types of discussions, extensive documentation and reports (preferably after each project) and so on.

If you now draw the line to the various reasons why employees are absent in the long term or permanently or even only temporarily, downstream knowledge management becomes more difficult.

The reasons for the absence (temporary or permanent) could be:

> Voluntary job change or self-employment

> (Termination without notice) on the part of the employer

> Sabbatical or time off

> Illness or accident

> (Early) Retirement

> Death

Recommended methods, such as separation talks, regular debriefings and extensive documentation, can only be implemented in some cases – assuming a certain will, motivation and sufficient resources (which further reduces the rate).

(Even) worse is the case of fateful events, such as accidents, illnesses or even a death.

Let’s remain hopeful and positive. Suppose an employee decides to resign and have his “knowledge captured” in a meeting with his manager and HR manager. How likely is it that all aspects of knowledge (from the first paragraph) will be captured in their entirety, even in multiple conversations (keyword whisper mail)?

Another example: Even if the person, agrees to create an extensive documentation about current processes, relevant contacts, his expertise and working methods. These records, especially information of a dynamic nature, are extremely time-consuming and age together with the process or methodology. In addition, not everyone knows how to ideally prepare this documentation in order to make it available to successors and co. and if no one knows that such information exists, no one will look for it (keyword bring/collect debt). Further tasks arise.

Knowledge management must be integrated into everyday life

It is not possible to design knowledge management for all special cases. But you can avoid many problems if you capture, prepare and make available knowledge before it is lost. The advantage is obvious. Why should only the successor or similar benefit from a knowledge carrier? You can use this knowledge during your active employment and make it available to others. This is where Digital Adoption comes into play.

| Capture knowledge

Once relevant knowledge carriers have been identified, they can (ideally) be established as feeders or part of competence centers or communities of practice that deal with Digital Adoption content. Technical, process, methodological and organizational knowledge can be captured and explored here in the team. But this is not a must. Knowledge carriers can also work autonomously on Digital Adoption content.

| Prepare knowledge

As soon as the knowledge and its requirements are “available”, they can be designed in the editor according to the AppNavi and fed into the Digital Adoption solutions. The playful character of the platform scores points here and the extensive toolkit offers many options for preparing information. As a route, pins, post, tooltip or complete collections – you can experiment around. The good thing about it: the effort is vanishingly small compared to a classic documentation, because you are finally in the process itself and do not have to explain or record it first.

| Distribute knowledge

Now it’s time to actively distribute the know-how to the workforce. Here, too, AppNavi can show its strength, because this also lies in the distribution of knowledge. New Digital Adoption content can be played out directly to users and into the process without having to hold training sessions, courses or lectures. In addition, intelligent targeting via Target Audience makes it possible to define specifically who should have access to the relevant knowledge. In the end, users benefit from the knowledge of others at all times and exactly where it is relevant.

In summary, Digital Adoption is not only an interactive tool for empowering employees to use software and digital processes properly right away, but can and should also be used proactively to preserve different types of knowledge.

Are you facing a similar challenge? Then get in touch and let us show you AppNavi and its benefits, or simply try it out for 30 days – completely free of charge.


AppNavi GmbH
+49 89 262 025 490

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