The Learning Organization: Retain and Grow Your Knowledge Capital with Microsoft SharePoint
For most industries and markets, it seems fair to assume that an organization’s success is largely contingent upon its knowledge capital. As an organization’s knowledge capital is composed by the knowledge and skills that reside within each and every employee, as well as the extent to which organizational knowledge is shared and utilized, the challenge for any organization is to secure, maintain and efficiently utilize the knowledge resources of its entire work force.
Employing a knowledgeable and skilled work force is obviously a major priority for any organization, but ensuring that knowledge and experiences are shared throughout the organization and retained for future retrieval is what sets a true learning organization apart from its competitors.
Employees Come and Go – Knowledge Should Stay
While solid retention strategies indeed do help retain employees and minimize employee turnover, employees do come and go. It’s a fact. With the right applications and systems in place, you can help ensure that the knowledge and experience an employee brings to – and generates at your company is shared throughout your organization and remains within your organizational boundaries should that employee decide to move on.
Microsoft SharePoint: Take Knowledge Sharing to the Next Level
Microsoft SharePoint is the ultimate platform for content management, knowledge sharing and collaboration. With SharePoint in place, not only do your employees have efficient and easy-to-use tools for content creation, cross-departmental communication and enhanced collaboration, you also have an efficient platform for capturing and storing the knowledge that exists and is continuously generated throughout your entire organization. The following parts describe how you can use SharePoint to easily create Intranets, efficiently manage documents and automate your business processes.
SharePoint makes it easy to set up company-wide intranets for knowledge sharing, document management and communication. SharePoint allows you to easily customize site navigation, menus and visual profiles (on both organization-wide and departmental levels), and easy to use permission management allows you to control which team members have access to what information – all the way down to document/item levels.
In SharePoint, each department or team (e.g. Marketing, HR and Customer Service) can have their own site, customized to meet specific departmental needs. For example, HR can set up a site for managing PTO requests and timesheet entries, Marketing can customize a Marketing and Event calendar while Customer Service might have a need for an easily editable list containing answers to frequently asked questions.
SharePoint Intranet sites allow your entire organization to easily share information and help you ensure that your employees are on top of company announcements, departmental updates and changes, new hires, product and service updates, organizational changes, upcoming events and so on. By providing your employees with easy-to-use communication tools, your employees are more likely to share knowledge and lessons-learned throughout your organization.
SharePoint increases team collaboration, productivity and knowledge sharing by giving your employees easy to use tools for creating, editing and sharing documents and information. Users can open, edit and save virtually any documents directly from SharePoint and with Version Tracking it is easy to follow edits and changes made to any document. SharePoint makes it easy for multiple users to work on the same documents without losing track of the most recent version and the latest changes.
With all your documents stored in SharePoint you employees have access to a comprehensive library of company resources. Employees can access documents from previous projects, customer contracts, manuals, documentations, templates, meeting recaps, marketing material, demo tools, sales presentations, correspondence with customers and partners, past budgets etc., and ultimately save a lot of time by re-using existing content and learning from past experiences. With SharePoint there is no reinventing the wheel.
Workflow and Business Process Automation
Not only does SharePoint enhance knowledge and document management, collaboration and communication, it also allows you to create customized workflows and task automation, thus enabling you to run a more efficient business. By setting up automated workflows, SharePoint can help you free up company resources by eliminating the need for manual and time intensive business processes. For example, by utilizing SharePoint and automated workflows, your HR department can efficiently manage the entire employee life cycle; from position requisition through resume tracking, employee onboarding, employee records management to employee off-boarding. SharePoint can help your finance department with billing forms and bill approval workflows to ensure an efficient, consistent and accurate billing process. SharePoint is easily customizable and can be configured to meet the needs of any organizational department or team. With SharePoint workflows you can easily capture, disperse and utilize your organizational resources.
FMT Consultants’ Senior SharePoint Consultant, Josh Jackson, recently wrote blog series on workflow, process automation and collaboration with SharePoint, focusing on the organizational areas of HR, Finance, Operations and Sales. Read the blog series here.
Comprising a wealth of collaboration and content management options, Microsoft SharePoint helps your organization retain and grow its knowledge capital and gives your employees easy access to company resources. SharePoint provides your employees with efficient tools that support a culture of knowledge sharing, collaboration and continual learning.
Microsoft SharePoint comes with numerous features and possibilities and the present blog post only covers a fraction of the functionality of SharePoint. Not only does SharePoint empower your internal workforce, it also offers great and intuitive functionality for creating and managing external websites, portals, collaboration sites (see examples of websites powered by SharePoint at www.topsharepoint.com) and much more.
Jakob Bechgaard, Marketing Coordinator