The knowledge within a company that needs to be preserved has always been the corporate Holy Grail. The best way is the people who have it, capture it themselves. The success of YouTube with millions of videos uploaded is apparent. All made by individuals who, as the tag line goes, wish to “Broadcast themselves”. You can learn to bake from your aunt’s video or clean the filter on your home A/C unit from the “How to” by the manufacturer.
Does this work equally well in a professional environment? Hard data about the efficacy of user-led content creation is not readily available. There is little doubt however that it is useful and does succeed. Here are a few of the important ingredients:
1. Quality: The actual quality of the multimedia or video recording by an employee. Good lighting? Is it clearly audible? Given the multimedia blitz and general high quality of digital media available online, your employees will not watch anything mediocre. Annoying buzz? It’s safe to say your super-duper Chief of Info Security’s pep talk about “Info security for financial banking products” will not be watched.
It’s important to provide good creation tools (not necessarily expensive) with some easily accessible help from your friendly IT helpdesk.
2. Accuracy and relevance: The publishable content should be given a second look. Mistakes can be made. Some critical information that looks right to the creator could have a very different and erroneous meaning in the wrong context to an employee thousands of miles away.
Have a workflow in place so that simple mistakes with potentially huge consequences can be avoided.
Get a colleague or a supervisor to review and verify it. Document the review.
3. Access control: The creators have now made the valuable knowledge they had by recording it. But who gets to see it and when? The content needs to be publicized. Making employees aware of its existence is critical. So is keeping information from the wrong audience.
An appointed distributor must manage the outflow of information.
Give your employees the means to share what they know. It’s getting easier by the day and a few simple steps can make it effective. Wishing you all the best!