Why HR Professionals Need Corporate Knowledge-Base Software

By Monica Kohn   |   August 12, 2020
hr knowledge base
Onboarding, performance reviews, and career management are just some of the employee tasks that require human resources to have the right information at the right time. A knowledge-base system makes your organization’s HR department work more intelligently and effectively. Lowers costs Improves decision-making Eliminates data duplication

What is an HR Knowledge Base?

Have you ever called a customer support line because you needed help with a product or service? It probably went something like this: The service agent asked you a few specific questions. You received detailed instructions to solve your problem.

That information came from a knowledge base.

While the concept is the same, the corporate knowledge base HR professionals use differs in many ways from customer support. That’s because HR deals with humans; individual employees, not identical products.

When different people ask for information that specifically applies to them (benefits, vacation policy, etc.), the answers vary. Individual factors include the date of hire, position, accumulated paid days off, and more.

Internal Knowledge-Base Software

The purpose of an internal knowledge management system is to provide answers to employee questions so HR doesn’t have to. Regardless of department, location, or tenure, employees can quickly access the HR information they need via a 24/7 self-service portal.

Did you know employees working 8-hour days are only productive for about three of those hours? Studies show five hours or more per week are spent waiting for information. The support people searching for that information are “wasting” time, too.

Knowledge-base software can help reduce that bottleneck.

Why Organizations Need Corporate Knowledge-Base Software

With resource-rich information just a click away, HR professionals are better able to automate, track, search, store, categorize, analyze, and scale meaningful information with ease. But capturing vast sources of data to create a robust knowledge base isn’t a simple task.

Knowledge-base software makes it easier to:

  • Centralize information – Employee confusion is reduced and work efficiency increased with centralized information. Rather than dealing with repeated questions, emails, and meetings, individuals and teams can use a self-service approach to efficiently resolve issues.
  • Increase productivity – Better-trained employees no longer have to spend large amounts of time looking for information and/or verifying corporate policies and procedures.
  • Reduce onboarding and training costs – Employees self-train through relevant knowledge-base articles.

As Colin Shaw, founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy likes to point out, “Happy people give you happy customers.” And the way to do this, he says, is by “…defining the employee experience that should ideally match the customer experience and then designing the employee experience around this.”

When viewed through the lens of organizational efficiency and employee engagement, the importance and value of good corporate knowledge-base software simply cannot be overemphasized.

Get the Most from Your Knowledge-Base Software

Corporate knowledge-base software may simplify the process of building an internal knowledge base, but it’s still only going to be as effective as the information it receives. Putting considerable work into gathering, storing, and disseminating information is what gives your knowledge base real value.

  1. Carefully choose the information to be included. It’s a fine line between giving employees what they need and overwhelming them with too much information.
  2. A good plan looks at internal workflow and considers employee feedback to consolidate the most important information. If the content already exists, great! If not, it will need to be created from scratch.
  3. Build an efficient structure. Make your knowledge base easy to navigate, use categories that mean something to your employees and correctly tag articles.
  4. Provide an avenue for employee feedback. Listening to and implementing user feedback is a great way to remove confusion or add missing key information. There are several ways to get feedback, including:
    • Allowing employees to comment directly on articles and documents
    • Conducting periodic surveys on user experience
    • Using a feature built directly into the knowledge base itself

Empower Employees Through Knowledge

When deciding which knowledge-base software to use, consider these factors:

  • Is it user-friendly? Can employees quickly find the answers they need?
  • How effective is the search engine? Employees should be able to locate the information they need by typing the least number of keywords and/or phrases. Partial search should also be included.
  • Is it easy to update? A corporate knowledge base is a living resource and needs continuous updating. It should be easy for authors to create and edit articles.

Knowledge-base software can help you seamlessly organize information by making it easily accessible to employees and allowing for feedback and updated contributions. Best of all, employees will work from a common base, increase their productivity, and speed long-term growth.