Differentiating Between Data and Information
For organizations that have a knowledge management system in place, it is vital to differentiate between useful information from vast streams of data; that data is the outcome, is an intersection of the online world and the organizational processes. To put it in another way, not every artefact which employees submit to the Knowledge Management portal is useful, because sometimes their submissions to the Knowledge Management portal might be information freely available on the internet. This happens when organizations mandate the submission of artefacts to the Knowledge Management portal and integrating it with employees’ performance appraisal. Therefore, employees who cannot submit anything on their own utilize publicly available information; leading to plagiarism and issues of intellectual property.
Here organizational gatekeepers face a tough time in sorting and sifting submissions to Knowledge Management portals. This might lead to a waste of time by these gatekeepers. An Important thing to remember for Knowledge Management is that data and information are separate. Not all data is information, information which is meaningful, relevant, and knowledge can be used for the benefit of the organization.
Some Best Practices in the Real World
A possible solution in this case, where the gatekeepers spend a lot of time in sorting out the useful stuff is to use a plagiarism checker that would separate the submissions from freely available information on the internet. By doing this activity, organizations can be sure that the Knowledge Management portal has artefacts which do not violate the intellectual property ownership and related aspects.
Another possible solution would be to introduce a peer review process where submissions are evaluated by the co-workers of the employee who have submitted to the Knowledge Management portal. In this way, the organizations can ensure that the evaluating process would rule out the unwanted submissions. Of course for this, employees who are doing the evaluation have to spend their time, but they can be rewarded through bonus points for submissions. This procedure is followed by many multinationals where they give employees incentives to submit relevant content, monetary, and non-monetary rewards points for meaningful submissions.
Monetary and Non-Monetary Incentives to the Employees
Organizations having world-class KM portals usually provide monetary incentives and rewards for the best submissions to the KM portal so that employees contribute in a positive manner. To add further, those organizations that do not have size or scale while providing monetary incentives. Monetary incentives include tickets to shows, movie tickets, plays, even coupons to redeem at outlets so that employees are encouraged to not only contribute to the KM portal but also to provide useful and relevant content. This is also a part of employee Key Performance Areas during appraisals to reward employees for meaningful KM portal submissions. The point to conclude here is that effective and efficient knowledge management leads to synergies. Hence, organizations should invest time and resources in building a KM portal which would eventually help them in nailing the art of knowledge management.
Finally, effective knowledge management is a process that is progressing and involves strong commitment between the employees and the organizational KM processes. Therefore, it would be in the interests of the organizations, to make sure that associates are motivated and encouraged to submit to the KM portals through their own initiative, and not just as a result of monetary and non-monetary factors.