You have finally decided that your company needs a knowledge sharing platform – a solid decision. After all, it can help with several common problems that enterprises run into, such as change management. Also, as we’ve discussed before, a knowledge sharing culture can improve your bottom line.
Still, just deciding that you need one doesn’t mean that your mission is over since you should also start researching to find out what is the best solution for your business.
Look out for the must-have features of a knowledge sharing platform because, after all, they will turn into a prospect for the business to invigorate employees with valuable content that can save the day in difficult situations.
According to a recent report conducted by Interact, almost 20% of the corporate time, which can equivalate to one day in a working week, is easily lost by employees searching for relevant information needed to complete their tasks.
Even more, another research from McKinsey revealed that employees spend around 2 hours, on average, per day, just looking for and collecting information.
Basically, if a company has 5 employees, only 4 of them actually work, while the fifth spends all the time at the job just looking for information, without adding any value to the company. A knowledge management platform can be the solution to this issue because it enhances corporate efficiency and the output of employees.
Must-have features for a knowledge sharing platform
1. It’s accessible and interactive
These are definitely two of the most important features to look for, combined into one.
The days when employees were spending hours in cubicles are gone, as they are mobile and demand flexibility, so you need to choose a tool that can be accessed from anywhere, no matter the device.
Also, knowledge sharing isn’t a one-way process anymore. Companies want their employees to share their own knowledge and experiences. In order to encourage them to do so, a platform should offer options like a chat or Q&A features, as well as a comments section, similar to the ones seen on social media.
This way, anybody can interact with the already existing content and engage in healthy discussions, thus breaking down barriers between employees and promoting a general learning culture.
2. It can organize the content with ease
The whole purpose of using a knowledge management platform is to help employees find the information they need fast, so it’s mandatory to use a solution that offers a smart search option. However, even though this feature exists, it’s possible to make full use of it if the content is also indexed and categorized properly.
Some platforms allow users to organize the shared content using labeling and a classification system, while the smart search option makes sure that every employee has access to the information they need, whenever they want.
3. It has an in-depth analytics system
One of our favourite parts about a knowledge sharing platform is the ability to see who is contributing to its growth, who is viewing information, and how frequently this happens.
Insights and market research are considered some of the biggest assets of an organization, so using a platform that includes an analytics system should be mandatory, especially if you’re planning to initiate a rewards system for the most active users.
4. It allows sharing content with external users
Your entire team works hard so the business can grow and this will lead to an impressive knowledge base, containing valuable information. But what’s the whole purpose of having it, if it can’t be read by everybody, including those who are not members of the platform?
A viable knowledge sharing solution features the ability to share content with external users, so you can track who opened the email and how long they spent studying the content. By doing this, you always know what kind of content is performing best and successfully driving prospects down the funnel, but also which parts need some fine adjustments.
5. It works as a powerful Q&A engine
Let’s face it: a lot of the questions your employees ask have been asked before and will definitely be asked again and again. In this case, it’s way better to have all these issues documented. And what better way of doing this than through a knowledge base?
Each time a question is asked, post it in the knowledge sharing solution of your choice, so you can crowdsource any new information that’s needed for a proper answer in an informal and natural way. This way, the next person that has the same question can automatically search for the answer, save a lot of precious time and possibly even offer a better solution.
6. It can be integrated with other software
Finally, it’s all about integration with other tools that you are already using. For example, cloud storage, since it would be amazing for a knowledge sharing platform to access information that’s already stored in Google Drive or Dropbox.
Obviously, storage is just an example, since there are a lot of tools a team usually relies on, like Slack, Trello, or Asana, which could work great alongside a platform where a lot of valuable information is stored.
Choosing the best knowledge sharing tool for a company can be challenging. After all, there are quite a few options available out there, each with their own pros and cons. Still, the above-mentioned must-have features should help you throughout the entire process.
You will most likely deal with knowledge management challenges because you will have to convert all the raw data you have at your disposable into digestible information. But the benefits of implementing a KM platform definitely outweigh potential challenges.