Engaging Your Employees To Contribute To Your Knowledge Base

Written by: David Oragui

Published: February 01 2019

… & Building A Knowledge Base To Boost Up Employee Engagement

What if you could use your knowledge base for engaging your employees to do their jobs with more passion and motivation?

If your company is struggling with employee engagement, you are not alone. Thousands of businesses already have the same problem.

According to a study conducted by Gallup Poll more than 70% of U.S. employees feel MISERABLE at their workplace. The main reason: lack of proper engagement and bad communication with their leaders. Only less than a third (31.5%) of surveyed employees were engaged in their jobs during 2014.

This is the fact: If you want to have engaged employees, you’ll need a lot of communication with them.

Let’s imagine your company as a crew of a huge submarine cruising in the dark depths of the sea. You are the captain and you perfectly know where your submarine is heading. What do you do to calm down your crew and assure them that you are going to get them home safely? Do they know your vision? Do they see what you see? You have to keep them motivated all the time.

At the same time, you need to know what are the challenges facing your crew. Once you have the complete insight, it is easier for you to figure out how to help them to increase their productivity. 

So, it sounds like you just need to communicate enough and everything is going to be OK?

Now, communicating with all employees daily is great while your company is small enough. However, the sad fact is that, as your company grows, your communication starts to suffer. When that happens, employee engagement goes down and every other aspect of employee productivity.

Keeping Your Communication Alive

Let’s say that communication equals sharing the leadership’s ideas, knowledge and information with the rest of the board and vice versa. What would be, then, the best way to keep your communication with employees at the highest level? 

Let me do this for you: sharing knowledgesharing information, hmm… A knowledge base?

OK, let’s take a break there.

How To Engage

Now, there’s another research conducted by Gallup Poll which reveals that high-involvement practices can increase employee engagement. Furthermore, these high-involvement practices are associated with increased productivity, profits and customer satisfaction.

So, in order to get employees engaged, we need to create high-involvement environment.

When it comes to this field, the most relevant guy to ask for advice is Edward Lawler.

Edward Lawler is an organizational effectiveness scholar who came up, after decades of research, with the method of efficiently creating high-involvement working environment.

How To Do It?

According to Edward Lawler, the four basic principles should be applied to create high-involvement working environment: providing employees with powerinformationknowledge and rewards.

So, let’s say that again: For creating high-involvement environment at your company, you will need to provide your employees with some kind of power, information, knowledge and rewards. Sounds easy right?

Let’s say that you want to do this for your customer support office. You feel that they could be more engaged at their jobs. To apply these principles, you simply need to reach out to every of your customer support employees and you could easily give them more power to make decisions, you could reveal them some secret company information, provide some nasty tricks to solve their tasks and give them some rewards. 

Sounds great. And it is. But you suddenly can’t reach out to all of your customer support employees because there are like 50 of them now.

Since you can’t reach out to them directly, we need to think out a way to automatize this as much as possible.

So, let’s carefully observe these three principles of high-involvement environment, excluding the last one: POWER, INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE.

Should we revert the order? KNOWLEDGEINFORMATIONPOWER

What do you see again? What would be the best way to implement all of these to make it easy to maintain and to get the same effect as if you were reaching out to every of your employees directly?

A knowledge base? Again?

OK, we see that knowledge base emerges twice as the best solution for both, communication and high-involvement.

Communication + High-Involvement = The Knowledge Base

Now, all you have to do is take all these high-involvement principles and implement them in your knowledge base system. It’s easy.

Provide Power

Even a small slice of power to make decisions on their own will instantly make your employees feel better about themselves. Consequently, this will increase involvement and engagement.

To do this via the knowledge base, you need to make your knowledge base so it represents some kind of authority. You want to establish your knowledge base as an important destination where everyone goes to ask for help. Once employees have the power to add their thoughts and tips into it, they will feel like they have the power to tell others what to do.

Provide Information

Your employees love your secrets, even if they are not important to them. To get your employees more involved you need to reveal them some secret information.

You want to implement this as a secret section of your knowledge base. You need to make it accessible only for your employees. This way you will make them feel like they are members of secret service team and you might get them sharing some of their own sneaky tricks to do the job with you and the rest of the board.

According to a study conducted by Susan Sprecher, a social psychologist at Illinois State University, people tend to reciprocate when someone shares personal information. That means, when someone discloses his private information with you, it is most likely that you will respond with similar degree of self-disclosure.

Provide Knowledge

Is there a difference between knowledge and information? 

Let’s say that the knowledge is more organized presence of information with the focus on doing particular tasks.

If you reach out to your employees and provide them with your knowledge about their particular tasks, it will make them feel more important as members of the team.

Once when you start sharing your knowledge with others, the rest of the board will see you as the exemplar for what they should do. This way they will feel more motivated to engage and give their experience back into the knowledge base.

Give Rewards

You will need more than kind words to keep your employees engaged.

People tend to seek for validation and positive evaluation every time they do something extraordinary.

If your employees are performing well continuously they will subconsciously feel the need for some kind of reward. Thus, you have to figure out ways to show your best performing employees that they are special.

So, give some valuable rewards to your best contributors every week. You will not regret it. The information and knowledge your employees have in their heads might be the most valuable thing you (don’t) have.

Why Not a Forum? Or Something?

OK, you certainly do not want to use company chat application for this. But, you could do this by setting some kind of forum (board) for your company, right? Or, some kind of directory? Some kind of something?

Knowledge base beats all other solutions on this field. Here’s why.

When you use a knowledge base to share information and knowledge, the stored data is easily accessibleeasily searchable and it can be easily updated whenever is needed.

If using a proper software, like ours at Helpjuice, you will actually, beside sharing the knowledge and the information, cut down number of support emails both from employees and from customers

Customer onboarding? Employee onboarding? No problem, just give them the link to your internal knowledge base.

Statistics? With the brand new version of the Helpjuice dashboard you are going to have complete insight into EVERYTHING what is happening inside your knowledge base. The most helpful articles, the most active contributors, the worst performing articles… just everything you need.

By the way, did you know that this year we saved more than $2.3m in support costs for just one of our customers who uses Helpjuice for the purposes of internal knowledge base? The number of emails sent to the support for the whole year can be counted on the fingers of one hand!

And that’s it, once you succeed to engage your employees to genuinely contribute to the knowledge base by implementing all these principles, the engagement will be further spread on all other levels of what they are doing at your company.

So, what do you say guys? Do you feel inspired? Anything similar to share with us? Don’t forget that we LOVE your feedback. Don’t spare your words on this, give us some comments down there!

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