Onboarding tools: Why to build a knowledge base

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Onboarding tools: Why to build a knowledge base

An internal knowledge base is one of the most efficient onboarding tools you can invest in. It saves you time and effort in the long run, and once you have the basics written down it’s just a matter of updating the details. Here are the benefits of building a knowledge base.

Knowledge base benefits: Easy onboarding tools

Quick training

A knowledge base means that you’ll be able to train new hires fairly quickly. After their initial training, give them read-only access to your knowledge base and allow them to answer their own questions with this pre-made resource. If your managers find themselves repeating what they’ve said to new hires multiple times, have them build their training session into the knowledge base so employees can run through it.

Easily updated

A knowledge base is an easy place to draw from when you need to put together a quick training email or explanation. It’s stored and accessible for consistent use, and if you keep your knowledge base online it’s easy to update simply by accessing the back-end of the system. For example, if you keep everything in a private WordPress website, just update and add new pages or posts as you see fit.

Accessible referencing

Everyone needs a reminder now and then. Your employees might have questions they don’t get the chance to ask. By giving them access to a knowledge base, they can retrain themselves without taking up the time of their colleagues or managers. Occasionally, employees may also feel that their questions are too simple or obvious to ask, in which case a knowledge base would also encourage them to find their own answers.

Tips for building a knowledge base

Before you commit to building a knowledge base, answer a few questions to gain some direction.

  • Which department will it be for? Is it a company-wide tool, or will you have specialized sections? Be sure not to include irrelevant information, otherwise your employees may skip over important items.
  • What medium will you use? Some companies are investing in video knowledge bases, and in the future we may be seeing more virtual reality onboarding tools. Web-based knowledge bases are useful because you can filter through the content with search terms and chapters.
  • Who will be responsible for reviewing and updating the knowledge base annually? It’s important to keep your knowledge base updated, or you run the risk of sharing outdated information that’s no longer true. Review the content regularly.
  • Will it be internal, or open to others? Your clients may benefit from access (or limited access) to your knowledge base. If you open part your knowledge base to others, customers would be able to search through it to answer questions without contacting your support staff. If you keep your knowledge base (or at least part of it) internal, you’ll be able to include more sensitive information, such as business processes.

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