5 Best Practices in Knowledge Management

Posted on 16 Oct 2023

In any organization, knowledge is one of the most important assets available to you. Chances are your team is equipped with specialist skills, expertise, and awareness that’s invaluable for the business. But how can you ensure that knowledge is funneled down to other employees and customers? This is where creating an effective knowledge management system that compiles specialist know-how into a dedicated help center is invaluable.

Imagine how your organization would operate without this variety of knowledge—it’s impossible, right? You must take care of the knowledge held in your company—doing so will mean that your customers can easily get the information they need in one central location.

You wouldn’t let other important assets in your organization go unmanaged—so why would you not have a strategy to identify, cultivate, and spread knowledge? Read on to find out how you can implement an effective knowledge management system in your organization with some of the best practices in creating a valuable help center.

What is Knowledge Management?

Think about all the different forms of knowledge you need to effectively perform your tasks at work. It could be technical—being able to answer “What is a CDN?” for instance—or organizational—such as knowing which colleagues would work best in a team.

Being able to quickly and easily access this knowledge is a pivotal part of our daily work lives. This is easy when it’s your own knowledge. But what about when you think about knowledge on an organizational scale? Making knowledge easily accessible across your whole team through the adoption of a help center is crucial if you want to have a group of employees whose productivity and efficiency are always growing.

This is knowledge management—locating the sources of knowledge in an organization and then ensuring that it is well organized and disseminated across all relevant departments. Involving both technology and culture, it’s all about ensuring that information is effectively managed and can be easily found by anyone who needs to access it. 

Benefits of Effective Knowledge Management

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

So it’s clear that knowledge is an invaluable asset in any organization, and—just like with any other important asset—it’s important that you know how to manage it. But what are some of the biggest benefits you’ll see when implementing an effective help center

1. Break down knowledge silos

Structuring your organization into different departments and teams is essential to human resource management. However, actual day-to-day operations are usually messier, with responsibilities ranging across a range of different specialisms. 

This means that it can be useful for employees who work in marketing, for instance, to be able to access information that the IT department would usually use. These institutional knowledge silos will only slow your organization down if you don’t effectively manage knowledge to improve collaboration and communication.


2. Identify gaps in skills

Creating a documented list of knowledge and information can help departments recognize skill gaps in their teams. This will mean that you can hire new employees who can contribute something new to your organization or construct training modules to overcome these gaps.


3. Improve performance

Once you’ve established a strong knowledge management system, you’ll then be able to build online help centers for your customers that can make your customer experience as streamlined and effective as possible.

This is because knowledge is an integral part of your company’s performance. Improving knowledge management will allow you to have knowledge-centered customer support, for instance, that can better provide assistance to your clients. 

Knowledge Management Best Practices 

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash 

The benefits of a clear and simple knowledge management system are obvious. But how can you actually implement this sort of system in your own organization? It’s a good idea to consider these best practices in knowledge management when you’re overhauling your help center:


1. Evaluate your existing process

Like in any big organizational change, there’s no point in making any significant adaptations without knowing what already works. Look at the sorts of tools that are used to store knowledge. Check whether your help center is up to date and that it isn’t being slowed down by technical issues such as cached data.

Once you have a clear image of the processes already being used to manage information and knowledge, you should evaluate the efficiency of this using whichever key performance indicators are most relevant for your industry. 

You should also take the time to talk to employees across your organization to build an accurate vision of existing processes. As well as this, knowledge management is as much a problem of culture as technology—beginning any changes with clear communication and dialogue will help you to get your team on board.


2. Set your knowledge management goals

As well as making sure that you know about existing knowledge management processes, it’s crucial that you set your goals before you make any big changes to knowledge management in your organization. These will depend on the specific needs of your company.

You might want to reduce errors and mistakes in your business operations.

Alternatively, your goal might be to establish a clear source of information that will allow your employees to easily complete a specific process, such as deploying web application. If you’re a small organization, starting with a smaller goal such as this might be useful before scaling up your knowledge management systems.


3. Identify sources of knowledge

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

Not all knowledge is created equal—it’s up to you to find the most useful knowledge for your organization. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have to identify the best sources for that information.

This will most likely be an employee, such as an IT specialist, who has specific expertise in a piece of software that is used across the organization. You should speak to these experts and work together to create a piece of documentation that stores their knowledge in a permanent format. 

Alternatively, you might have found an external source of information that you want to point your employees or customers towards. 


4. Make knowledge easily accessible

Once you’ve set your goals and identified the sources of useful knowledge, it’s time for you to construct your knowledge management system. This can take a variety of forms, but it’s good to consider it as a help center that should suit all your employees' needs. 

Information should be presented simply so that users can quickly find answers to their questions and implement solutions. However, you should also keep in mind that not everyone learns best through reading articles or FAQs—consider how you could present information creatively, such as in a video or audio guide.

As an example of how you can make knowledge easily accessible, imagine a company that produces websites. A customer might want to learn how to select Singapore domains, so they would enter the help center and choose from a list of articles or videos that is divided into clear sections.

They should be able to easily find the section on website domains and then be able to search for relevant information in that section quickly. Suppose they’re unable to find the answers to their question. In that case, there should also be suggested contacts for individuals within the organization who could provide support. 

Additionally, you can make knowledge easily accessible and searchable by implementing a project management software system that centralizes information and facilitates collaboration among team members.

You can enhance knowledge accessibility and collaboration by using GPT-4 for knowledge management, which leverages advanced AI capabilities. Your organization can benefit from its natural language processing capabilities, automated content generation, and intelligent search functionalities, enabling efficient knowledge sharing and decision-making processes.

Implementing GPT-4 in your company's Knowledge Management strategy allows for enhanced knowledge discovery and extraction, as its advanced AI capabilities enable efficient analysis of vast amounts of data, automated knowledge categorization, and intelligent recommendations, leading to improved decision-making, collaboration, and organizational efficiency.


5. Build a learning environment

Free-to-use image sourced from Unsplash

To ensure that you’re looking after knowledge as an asset in your organization, you’ll need to create a culture that appreciates learning new information. Not all knowledge can be stored in your help center, and you should support your technology solutions with a cooperative and open working environment. 

This will mean that all employees should feel comfortable asking their colleagues for help, while experienced team members should always look for ways to support others. You should also encourage your employees to learn about new practices from outside the organization, whether that’s through inter-organizational meetings or simply by browsing other companies’ knowledge base articles

They should also contribute documentation to the help center on their own initiative so your knowledge management system can continue growing. This will allow your customers to have access to a help center that is constantly responding to new challenges and issues.


Protecting and Growing Your Organization’s Knowledge 

There are many reasons why you should think about improving your organization’s knowledge management. Maybe you want to make your business operations more efficient, or maybe you want to create a help center for customers to use.

Regardless of your specific needs, the benefits of a simple knowledge management system are obvious—making it crucial that you consider some of the best practices in knowledge management discussed in this article. From evaluating your existing processes to constructing simple information guides, these will help you to protect your organization’s knowledge. 

When it comes to knowledge management, it’s therefore imperative that you have a help center that can be easily accessible by all of your customers. Lotus Themes can ensure that you create a Zendesk help center that is customized to your organization’s needs, simple to use, engaging, and attractive. 

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