What do you do when your employees are blogging? What, you think they aren’t? Even if you don’t have technical people in your employ the chances are that some of them are blogging. Maybe not under their name, perhaps under a pseudonym, and maybe not about your company, but then again, maybe they are.
They might not be blogging solely about your organisation, but you can be sure that one of them has writing something about their working life, and mentioning your company, or perhaps even you.
So what do you do? Punish and threaten them to stop? Leave them be? No, there’s a much better idea and something that will benefit everyone concerned, including your organisation.
I’ve written before about utilising tools that are used daily on the Internet to create a new and knowledge focused Intranet with little cost to the business (have a look through the Knowledge Management category), and in that I’ve talked about the use of Instant Messaging. This has been something that has come up against resistance whenever it’s mentioned in a business context, so when I started using Twitter I saw answers to so many of the issues and negatives raised against IM in the workplace.
The Twitter model of messaging is one which would work superbly well in a business that is both scared of employees chatting the day away, and also of employees concerned about the instant intrusion of IM.
Intranets are a mess, let’s face it. They’re most often a big dump of information that is more a legacy system than any other computer system within your organisation, that is if you have the traditional model of adding in new groups of pages then your model dates back to the early days of websites.
Nowadays things are changing, and our need for information access is changing. We’re overloaded with information, we’re getting information pushed to us, we’re deciding on the information we read and the presentation of that information, and we want it in a timely fashion.
None of that is addressed by the standard Intranet model.
While the learners, users and customers of companies are becoming more curious, more engaged and more vocal, the companies themselves are clinging to their strict and outdated policies, rules and control.
They are in danger of, and already are, losing employees and customers who could be benefiting their organisation. While they try to control and restrict these people, they are fostering negative groups and holding themselves back.
Part of my work to date has involved Collaborative learning, and within that I’ve been looking at tools that are being widely used on the Internet and how they can be applied within learning and within an organisation. One of the most useful tools for knowledge capture is the system behind social bookmarking.
Social bookmarking doesn’t just have to be used for bookmarking websites, although that is a very useful application within an organisation, it could also be used in employee recognition schemes, or for innovations within the organisation. The use is not so much the bookmarking aspect but the collaborative filtering and ranking of information.
Previously in this series of Knowledge Retention versus People Retention I’ve talked about Enabling the employees to become knowledge sources, How to find out where the knowledge is, Encouraging the employees to share their knowledge, Giving the employees the tools to share their knowledge, Promoting the Knowledge Exchange, and Delivering the Knowledge to the employees.
Finally I’m going to round this up with a little view of how these tools such as blogs, wikis, discussion groups, etc can all be used in a way that’s beneficial to an organisation because there are many more practical applications that can actually result in cost and time savings, yes really. It’s not all just fluffy blue sky ideas, these systems can be used to save costs and time, as well as increasing those not so quantifiable knowledge and learning areas.
So here’s the last article, I hope my thoughts haven’t been too rambling…
Previously in this series of Knowledge Retention versus People Retention I’ve talked about Enabling the employees to become knowledge sources, How to find out where the knowledge is, Encouraging the employees to share their knowledge, Giving the employees the tools to share their knowledge, and Promoting the Knowledge Exchange.
Next up is the penultimate article in the series, Delivering the Knowledge to the employees. The organisation has spent the effort mapping, gathering and storing the knowledge, but how do we actually get this back to the employees, back to the learners in the organisation who need the knowledge? Strapping on a search engine to the Intranet is all very well, but that only works with specific searches, and the employees have to go to the knowledge that they already know they need.
Let’s talk about giving them the tools to pull knowledge to themselves, and knowledge that they might not even realise they need, and in the process the knowledge will be spread across the employees in the organisation instead of sitting with at key failure points.
Previously in this series of Knowledge Retention versus People Retention I’ve talked about Enabling the employees to become knowledge sources, How to find out where the knowledge is, Encouraging the employees to share their knowledge, and Giving the employees the tools to share their knowledge.
The last article was long, so this one is going to be much shorter, and is covering the huge topic of promoting the knowledge exchange. The reason this big topic is so short? Well I’m not going to give everything away am I? Then you’d have no need for consultants!
Previously in this series of Knowledge Retention versus People Retention I’ve talked about Enabling the employees to become knowledge sources, How to find out where the knowledge is, and Encouraging the employees to share their knowledge.
Now I’m going to discuss how to give the employees the tools to enable Knowledge Retention to start happening, so that the organisation can capture and record their knowledge. This is the part I really like, and the part I’ve been struggling with getting into my current organisation.
Previously on Knowledge Retention not People Retention (I always hear that in my head with Keifer Sutherland’s voice!) I talked about Enabling the employees to become knowledge sources and How to find out where the knowledge is. Next I’m going to briefly skim over one of the biggest difficulties to new learning systems, and indeed new systems full stop, in any organisation, culture change.
Actually to be honest I’ve avoided talking directly on it and rather focus on how to get the employees involved in the process of giving their knowledge to the organisation, after all that’s what the organisation wants and needs.