Michelle Stumpf | KCS (KM) Practice Director | KCSv6 Certified Trainer
In a KCS environment, leaders play a vital role, and you might not even realize the importance and responsibilities you hold in enabling the success of your knowledge workers. Here are three key areas where you can really make a difference:
Providing Support for KCS
- As leaders, it is important that you are positive about KCS and enable the knowledge workers to participate. That means that they need the time to participate, whether it is creating articles, coaching others or being coached – the time is a requirement of being successful with KCS. Doing KCS does not mean they will have more work; it means that they will be more efficient at helping customers with their issues and will be enabled to continue learning and growing becoming stronger knowledge workers!
- When it comes to coaching, enabling coaching is extremely important as it is one of the critical success factors of KCS. Your support is required for coaches and those being coached. Positive communication is also part of this as coaching is an investment in the knowledge worker’s KCS skill development, it is not a punishment in any way. Enabling coaching improves KCS skills much quicker than just training alone and this has a direct impact in the quality of the knowledgebase. Also, let your coaches coach – that is what they are there for, improving the KCS skills, so while we need your help in other areas, please let the coaches coach the knowledge workers.
- Recognize the value in the KCS Roles – it is not just about knowledgebase functionality! As a leader, you’ll work with the coaches to determine readiness for KCS role promotion, but you’ll also be reviewing and communicating when someone should be demoted as well.
- And last, but not least, please do not ding people for their mistakes. Everyone is learning and building skills, it is a process of trial and error at times as we learn. Enabling coaching helps knowledge workers improve their skills and as a leader, providing support to build those skills is essential and a positive way to move knowledge workers beyond mistakes to KCS proficiency.
Getting Knowledge Worker Buy-in To KCS
- Being the Knowledge Champions that you are, we are enlisting your help in promoting buy-in to our KCS efforts! So, as our knowledge champions, it’s important that you’re careful with your communications, please make sure any messages support KCS and do not run counter to KCS.
- Your new motto as our knowledge champions is – and repeat after me… is that All Knowledge workers are volunteers. Say it with me again… all knowledge workers are volunteers…. So why do I stress this? We only volunteer when we understand and when we care! As a knowledge champion, this is your responsibility, making our knowledge workers understand and care about KCS. We do that through motivational factors such as mastery, autonomy, and purpose. We also share benefits to the knowledge workers in terms of achievement, recognition, having more interesting work and enabling them to have responsibility over the knowledgebase.
- At times, we have to have the difficult conversations with our knowledge workers where they may be verbally objecting to participating in KCS or we may witness it in their behavior. As a knowledge champion, it’s your responsibility to work through any objections or feedback which enable the knowledge worker to see all of the benefits that await them as they start their KCS journey.
Focusing on value-based metrics over activities
- In a KCS world, our focus on metrics is on outcomes or value that is created. It isn’t on activities. When we think of activities when it comes to knowledge, # of articles created or modified are two of the most common ones that come to mind – those are just the activities that are required to achieve our goals – they are NOT the goals. So for any communication, be really careful about recognizing people for an activity. Instead, tie the KCS activities to your organization’s broader goals and recognize milestones to meeting those goals.
- As our leaders, you’ll help communicate how KCS helps us achieve our goals for our organization, customers and for our employees as well. This provides the big picture to our knowledge workers so they understand why what we’re doing is so important and how critical their role is in the success of reaching those goals.
So what are some of the things that you can do today to better support your organization’s KCS initiatives? Review your KCS Strategic Framework that way you have an understanding of how KCS ties into those broader organizational goals. And get involved in the planning of your company’s KCS communication plan and start thinking about how you’ll let that Knowledge Champion in you shine through.
Come join our next KCS Roundtable which we will dedicate to our KCS Champions!