How to Get Employee Buy-In for Your Knowledge Base

on August 20, 2019

Your knowledge base lies at the heart of your knowledge sharing strategy. It is the asset that records, stores, manages and distributes your internal information. But the reality is, your knowledge base is only as good as the contributions of your employees. As such, it’s integral you find a way to get your employees to buy-in to your knowledge capture strategy. They need to not only have the capability to contribute, but also the opportunity and attitude to willfully get involved.

This is easier said than done. In many organizations knowledge capture can be a difficult process, either because employees fail to see the benefit, struggle to find the time or just don’t know how. These issues significantly limit the impact a knowledge base can have in your organization and so it’s critical solutions are presented to overcome them.

Without employee buy-in, you’re stuck in a position where you have the strategic assets you need, but lack the necessary commitment from your staff to reap the benefits.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what you need to do to secure all-important buy-in for your knowledge base and ensure your employees are regularly involved in its development and growth.

Help Employees Understand the Role of the Knowledge Base in the Business

Chances are, your employees won’t know what a knowledge base is, and so its unlikely they’ll be able to appreciate its role and importance in the business unless it’s clearly communicated. As such its essential efforts are made to clarify:

  • What a knowledge base is
  • Its role in the business
  • The business benefits if used correctly
  • How it can directly benefit employees
  • Why employees should contribute

By tackling these key topics, you can help your employees appreciate why the knowledge base is so important and why their contribution is needed. This is critical for getting buy-in and ultimately getting regular contributions.

Incentivize Your Employees to Contribute

Giving your employees a genuine reason to get involved with your knowledge base by offering incentives is often a highly effective way to drive interest. By making sharing worth their time, you’re acknowledging the value of the information they’re sharing. This creates a dual incentive, as employees not only get the reward, but genuinely feel like they’re contributing to something that is widely considered to be high value.

Incentives can come in many forms. Some organizations choose to offer financial rewards for key information. Other’s offer additional work perks and extra days off, whatever the case, if you’re going to reward contribution, it needs to be something that the individuals in question will value.

Identify Key Ambassadors to Endorse the Knowledge Base

Getting buy-in within your business can be challenging, but this struggle can be reduced by identifying key ambassadors who can positively support your knowledge base. If you can get key internal influencers to fully see the benefits of your solution, you’ll find it much easier to achieve business-wide buy-in. Ideally, these individuals should work across multiple departments and have relatively wide reach to maximize their impact. In addition, they should be employees who are good communicators, have a wide network and can showcase the value of the solution in their own role to provide evidence to non-believers.

By identifying critical key influencers, educating them on the value of the knowledge base and ensuring they have everything they need to convince those around them, you can ensure quick uptake and support from across your business.

Don’t Abuse the Information Captured

When your employees share key information, they’re creating a bond of trust. They expect that information to be used for the good of the organization, but not against other individuals, or themselves. If information is misused, for example to hire cheaper staff or to undermine the value of other employees, then interest and contribution to your knowledge base will quickly waver.

Knowledge bases are most effective when they’re utilized by companies with a positive culture and friendly employee relations. If there is friction between senior staff and other employees, then it’s likely motivation to contribute will be low, and the information shared not as insightful or valuable as it could be.

Showcase the Practical Value of the Knowledge Base

They say seeing is believing, and when it comes to securing buy-in for your knowledge base, it’s critical. By showing examples of the solution in action, you can clearly prove the value it can deliver. Key use cases also help employees ask questions that may alleviate their concerns. These questions present a great opportunity to positively position the knowledge base and ensure there is a clear understanding of what it is, and how it works internally.

This is fundamental to convincing sceptical employees – particularly if the use-case applies to their own position or responsibilities. Helping them relate with the value is the quickest way to helping them understand how it could make their lives easier.

Consider Gamification Opportunities

Making contributing and interacting with your knowledge base enjoyable can go a long way to enhancing its popularity within your business. Gamification elements can reinforce positive engagement and drive enthusiasm. Utilizing special features like collectable points or badges that can be exchanged for rewards can make a big difference, without ballooning the cost. Anything that can make your knowledge base interactions more fun is likely to maximize its chance of success.

If the engagement process is long, dull and uninteresting, it’s much harder to get employees voluntarily involved. Using positive reinforcement to drive contribution as opposed to penalizing staff who don’t is by far the best way to go. Remember, your employees are the source of your highest value knowledge and so you need to ensure at every opportunity that their relationship with your knowledge base solution is as positive as possible.

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How to Get Employee Buy-In for Your Knowledge Base Summary

  • Help employees understand the role of the knowledge base in the business
  • Incentivize your employees to contribute
  • Don’t abuse the information captured
  • Showcase the practical value of the knowledge base
  • Consider gamification opportunities

If you can get your employees to regularly contribute to your knowledge base, then you’ll be able to develop an always evolving resource that can upskill your workers, protect your businesses’ more crucial information and get a better view on your internal knowledge capacity. These benefits not only make your business more secure, but help you make better business decisions moving into the future and enhance your ability to upskill new workers.

With the right internal business culture in place and incentives to encourage participation, workers will increasingly get involved, contributing to the depths of what they know voluntarily. This is when a knowledge base reaches its prime and delivers optimal value for your business.

A fully integrated knowledge base can offer significant benefits to all involved, but to really make the most of the resource, employee buy-in is a must. You need them to want to contribute and get involved, or you’ll struggle to see the full value of your knowledge base. What your employees know is the lifeblood of the business, and without their contribution, your knowledge base will remain nothing more than a hollow shell of missed opportunity.

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