Employees and Knowledge Management Communities

October 29, 2013Comments Off

In internal communities, employees will say
they don’t have the time to participate.

It’s more likely they’re afraid of

If you create something in writing,
everyone you work with can read it.

You might fear writing something incorrect,
appearing like a ‘know it all’,
appearing like you’re trying too hard to impress the boss, or being corrected by someone else. 

If you participate too often, people might
suspect you’re not spending enough time on your work. 

If the community has a ranking system, you
might fear beginning at the bottom of it.

These are real reasons we’ve heard for
members not participating.

Many people, perhaps the majority of people, aren’t
trying to connect/share their knowledge, increase their status within their
group, or help innovate. They’re simply trying to keep their head
above water without making waves. They’re trying to do their job without being noticed. They don’t want
the attention the community might bring them.

Many might not even feel they could provide
anything of value to the community. 

You can do two things here. First, note these
fears in your communications and tackle them head-on "we know you're concerned about {x}, but actually {y}". 

Two, more likely, don’t
anticipate that most people will join, at least not in the beginning. Target people that don’t have these fears. These, perhaps perversely, are often
the oddballs within the company. They might very well be the know-it-alls, the ego-driven types, the correctionists, and those trying to impress their boss. 

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