Lack of relevant information is one of the greatest barriers to solving problems within an organization. Time is wasted as employees bustle about trying to either find the person with the right information or source helpful documents that were already created. In fact, Harte-Hanks states that 96 percent of office workers were frustrated by their company’s information management practices in 2011.
Generally, an effective organization needs a central repository for information. Time wasted searching through copious volumes of haphazard information can never be regained. Simply Productive reports that executives waste approximately 150 hours annually searching for lost information. A corporate library is an investment that can significantly improve an organization’s productivity and minimize time losses.
Before we discuss how to effectively use a corporate library to better organize your company’s digital documents, let’s look at the negative effects of a disorganized workplace.
The Negative Effects of a Disorganized Workplace
- It Hurts Client Relations
Imagine this scenario. You’re a shipping company and your client has requested a delivery of 20 boxes of takeaway cartons. He has a strict deadline; they must be delivered by 10am on Friday. Today is Wednesday and your order management system has gone haywire.
This has happened before, but your chief IT guy is on vacation and none of the junior IT workers have the level of experience necessary to deal with the issue. The chief IT guy left no record of how the issue was previously handled. Everyone is running around like chickens without heads. Friday quickly approaches, and your client doesn’t get his cartons. He’s furious.
The chief IT guy’s resolution to the previous problem should have been recorded and stored. Storing the information in a corporate library would have made it easily accessible for the other members of the IT department. Your client would have gotten his cartons on time.
- Staff Morale Decreases
We all need structure. It’s a truth we often refuse to admit. Staff morale is lost when goals aren’t clear, and their roles aren’t clearly defined. Team leaders are charged with the responsibility of making this happen. A face-to-face meeting is most effective, but the employee should have a black and white copy of the information for reference.
Sending this information via email increases the likelihood of it being lost. Some employees may trust that they’ll easily find the information by using the built-in search engine of the email provider. However, it’ll eventually get lost in a sea of emails. Effectively storing and categorizing the information in a digital corporate library solves this problem.
- Frustration Mounts
A disorganized workplace is like sitting in the eye of a storm. There’s an unsettling calm that leaves you on edge as you anticipate the storm’s wrath. Frustrated employees will create the storm within the disorganization. The ripple effects can be catastrophic.
Strategies for Increasing Contextual Knowledge Using a Digital Library
- Answer the 5 Ws
The 5 Ws will guide how content is created and stored in your corporate digital library. You must answer these questions. Failure to adequately answer them will prevent you from using your digital corporate library to its full potential.
- Who is the target audience? Who will be granted access to these files? Who will upload and organize the content?
- What type of content is it? What is its purpose?
- Where will the content be used?
- When should users have access to the content?
- Why do employees need the content?
BookFusion offers corporate digital library options that make answering these questions simple. Our seamless user interface, storage options, and layout will help you create a branded corporate library that’s second to none.
- Train Your Employees
You can have the best corporate library in the world. It won’t be valuable if your employees don’t know how to use it. Training is an essential part of the process. By the end of these sessions employees should be able to:
- Create, upload and organize content
- Use the search engine efficiently to find relevant content
- Create meaningful content that clients can access via subscriptions
- Establish a clear process for recording and storing ideas so that processes aren’t unnecessarily repeated
The success of your corporate library hinges on how well your employees use it. They must buy-in. Hep them see how the digital corporate library will make their lives easier and you’ve got them hooked.
- Make Consistency a Priority
It’s great having all your company’s digital files in one place. The beauty of the library is lost, however, when there is conflicting information. There must be consistent answers to questions throughout the library and every communication medium the company uses. Confusion breeds frustration.
- Create a Learning Organization
The Harvard Business Review cites Peter Senge, the man responsible for popularizing the concept of a learning organization in his book The Fifth Discipline. He describes a learning organization as a place where “people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.”
A digital corporate library facilitates a learning organization. Teams can store the output of their collaborations, new content can be found, and all employees can continue learning about the company and each other. This increased knowledge can help improve employee behavior and ultimately increase the company’s chances of success.
- Develop a Culture of Trust
Trust encourages collaboration. Your employees won’t willingly share their ideas, knowledge, and content if they don’t trust who they’re sharing these things with. All employees must feel valued and respected. This builds trust and lays the foundation for team knowledge sharing via a digital corporate library.
BookFusion is ready to help organizations remain effective by maximizing the benefits of a digital corporate library. We want you to establish strong, knowledgeable teams. Let us help you create a learning organization powered by an effective well-informed team.