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Why do you
need a corporate knowledge base
and how to create one?

A recent study by Gallup found that businesses are currently experiencing an employee engagement crisis. It is impossible to create a good product without motivated and active employees — which is why managers try to increase employee engagement in a variety of ways. One of them is the creation of a corporate knowledge base, an indispensable tool for most employees.
A recent study by Gallup found that businesses are currently experiencing an employee engagement crisis. It is impossible to create a good product without motivated and active employees — which is why managers try to increase employee engagement in a variety of ways. One of them is the creation of a corporate knowledge base, an indispensable tool for most employees.

What is a corporate knowledge base?

The knowledge base is a single repository of corporate information that only members of your organization have access to. Simply put, this is a personal Wikipedia for your staff, where you can get an answer to any question related to the company and workflow at any time.

Three reasons why a knowledge base is useful

Saving resources
The knowledge base helps relieve the burden on managers and executives: instead of answering repetitive questions by e-mail and in face-to-face meetings, they can devote time to more important tasks.
Increased engagement
Poor internal communication is one of the reasons for demotivating employees. It’s hard to stay involved when it takes a long time to find the information you need. A unified knowledge base helps employees find the answer to their question in a couple of clicks.
Organizing information
A digital knowledge base helps to avoid chaos in documents — all information will be systematized. And it also allows you to quickly update data to keep the information up to date.
According to statistics, 31% of staff prefer digital tools to personal interaction with managers, and 27% of staff advocate a hybrid model that implies both personal communication and the use of digital services. One way or another, most of the employees are interested in finding the necessary information and coping with simple administrative tasks on their own or with minimal involvement of managers. This is why a corporate knowledge base can be an effective and useful tool in their hands.

Algorithm for creating a knowledge base

Step one: define a goal and gather information

First of all, you need to understand what tasks you want to solve with the help of the knowledge base: promptly report changes within the organization, save resources on training new employees, or just establish information exchange? Once you have a goal, you can decide what information to include in your knowledge base.

Topics for the general knowledge base of the company

✔ Welcome book of the company — history of the organization, its goals and missions, structure;
✔ General regulations — rules, requirements, tools and tips that are the same for all employees;
✔ Job descriptions — rules and regulations that apply to certain jobs;
✔ Base of documents and templates — "storage" of documents that may be needed in the work;
✔ Map of business processes — a schematic description of the main business processes of the company;
✔ Information about support — answers to frequent inquiries in HR, IT, administrative and business support;
✔ Information about the social package — available benefits, VHI;
✔ Up-to-date information about the company — for example, the latest news.
Relevance, clear structure and ease of use are three main principles to keep in mind when creating a corporate knowledge base. By following them, you will create not just an archive for storing information, but a living functional system.

Step two: develop a knowledge management strategy

A knowledge management strategy is a specific plan that will help your organization manage information effectively. Think about how often the knowledge base will be updated and who will be responsible for this; you can envisage the possibility of supplementing the knowledge base by employees in real time and encouraging them to work with the tool — this will significantly increase engagement. And the most advanced companies, where the knowledge base has already become a familiar tool, recently began to use technologies based on artificial intelligence to optimize their knowledge management strategy.

Step three: create a knowledge base implementation plan

In order to draw up a competent plan for the implementation of the knowledge base, it is necessary to build a change management process: assemble a team, appoint a responsible person (in the case of small companies, this can be one of the IT support staff, and in large companies a separate manager is often needed for this task), clearly set the goal and objectives, prepare staff for the emergence of new tools and build a long-term "roadmap" of the project. We talked about how to make change management successful in our previous material.

Step four: choose software

The platform on which your knowledge base will be located must meet several criteria: ease of use, a convenient search engine, the ability to be used by a large number of employees and provide feedback. There are several options for convenient software — it remains to decide which one is right for your company.

Corporate portal

A convenient and widespread resource: for example, you can provide for the creation of an employee’s personal account, where he will save the most important information for him. However, portals are most often only accessible to office workers, and line staff remain cut off from the knowledge base.

Special programs

Confluence or Notion wikis can replace the Enterprise Portal. The information inside applications can be promptly updated, there is a possibility of feedback for users. However, they are also more convenient to use from a computer — especially if there is a lot of information.

Chat bots

Bots are accessible: they are easily embedded into any messenger, which means that information will be at hand even for those who do not work with a computer. And artificial intelligence will help to recognize requests and provide answers automatically — you don’t have to waste time working with a large database.

Step five: implement and use! ❤

5 tips for working with a corporate knowledge base

Collect knowledge base usage statistics
Track the most common requests employees make to HR and other support services. This helps you understand which processes and tools in your company are working well and which ones can be improved.
Analyze employee requests while working with the knowledge base
So you can understand what information is missing in your knowledge base, which queries are incorrectly classified or not recognized by the system at all. This will fill the knowledge base with up-to-date information and make it really useful.
Add graphics to the knowledge base
Diagrams, illustrations and infographics will help employees to better perceive information. For example, you can illustrate the onboarding process by identifying important training activities, mentor meetings, and other milestones.
Work out the navigation
Once in one section of the database, an employee must have links to all intersecting sections. This could be a tag cloud, a word search, or the "You might be interested" section at the bottom of an article. Good navigation makes it easier to work with the system and saves time finding the information you need.
Accompany sections with useful contacts
Imagine a situation: an employee has a question about the IT sphere, but the knowledge base does not have the required answer. In order for an employee to contact a competent specialist directly, you can place a phone number or an IT support mail at the bottom of the page — this will significantly save time.

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