In our most recent webinar, we address the growing need for centralized knowledge management at financial institutions, and how to master it with 5 best practices.

State of Knowledge Management in Banks & CUs

2020 has presented increasing demand for financial support and services.  

Mortgage loan applications have skyrocketed. There is greater demand for refinancing, financial relief, loan forbearance. The growing shift to remote banking has tested and strained banks and credit unions alike.  

As a result, financial institutions have been asking more of their employees. Whether it’s meant transferring employees to assist in high-volume departments, or having them take on additional work to support new programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program.

The key to adapting to the “new normal” in banking is knowledge — specifically shared knowledge. Knowledge that is consistent, up-to-date, usable, and accessible so banking employees can access the information they need quickly and confidently to serve their customers or members.

How Banking Employees Access Information

  • 78% of banking employees report accessing information via an intranet or web portal, but < 60% have access to a searchable intranet.
  • 64% of banking employees say they ask co-workers for help or information
  • 91% of financial institutions report issues managing knowledge

5 Best Practices for Knowledge Management as Learned from 200+ Credit Unions and Banks

1. Continuous Progress vs. One-time Project

The first best practice is about mindset. Preparing yourself and your institution to approach knowledge management as ongoing, continuous progress.

Why? Because knowledge management isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” one-time project. Setting up the technical infrastructure for a knowledge base might be, but the truth is that your knowledge base should be treated as a living, breathing entity – one that you make continuous improvement on over time.

Pro Tip: Institutions who don’t strive for “perfect on day one” will see greater success over time. Listen to the webinar to learn what we mean by that.

2. Crawl → Walk → Run → Fly: Use a Phased Approach

Take an incremental approach.  Start with one or two functional groups — like the high-impact subject matter experts (SMEs) or the early adopters in your workforce. Gradually roll out the new or improved knowledge base and format to more groups over time.

Build in opportunities for process and workflow improvements along the way — like content review and approval processes.

For institutions that have substantial volumes of content, the phased approach ensures that the new or improved knowledge base gets up and running sooner, allowing your financial institution to start seeing value sooner.

Crawl Walk Run Fly - Phased Knowledge Base Approach

3. Assign Ownership

Just like any other initiative, ownership and accountability are extremely important when it comes to knowledge management.

Assigning ownership of the knowledge base at your financial institution allows you to set an important precedent for content workflows, structure, and approval. It allows for consistency in conventions like titling and formatting of content – an important foundation for the search engine optimization (SEO) of your knowledge base. (Yes, your knowledge base should be powered by search!)

Here’s an example of what ownership could look like:

Centralized Content Assembly line for Knowledge Management

Discover the ROI of Effective Knowledge Management Technology for Financial Institutions

Download Business Impact Brief

4. Foster Strong Employee Adoption

What good is a knowledge base if nobody uses it?

stages of employee adoption of knowledge base

The financial institutions that see the most success in knowledge management are those that involve employees from the get-go and encourage continued usage and involvement over time.

This is where the fun comes in! Involve employees in the naming and personification of your new knowledge base. Keep them informed with status updates to build excitement for the platform. Take the time to create a robust communications and training program. Check out the “Success Stories” section of this webinar to see how three financial institutions make this happen.

Remember to use gamification and positive reinforcement for usage of the knowledge platform. 

Ask employees for feedback on the structure and content within the knowledge base.

Pro Tip: Consider using a scavenger hunt to onboard employees onto your financial institution’s knowledge base. Ask employees to find a “hidden” icon (i.e. Golden Ticket, 4-leaf clover, dollar bill) by searching for common policies, procedures and product info.

5. Use Feedback and Data to Optimize

The final best practice ensures ongoing optimization and improvement of your knowledge base – because, as you know, things are constantly changing in the world of financial services.

Knowledge base analytics dashboard

A combination of employee feedback and usage data is recommended. Tag your knowledge base with analytics tools (like Google Analytics) to keep a pulse on how the knowledge base is utilized. This will help you identify areas in need of improvement and knowledge gaps.

Pro Tip: Make sure to thank employees for submitting feedback and let them know how it will be used.

The Bottom-line

Bank and credit union employees, whether on the frontline or in the back office – need knowledge to successfully and confidently do their jobs – whether it’s assisting a customer with tech support, or applying for a mortgage loan, it is critical that financial institutions have a single centralized knowledge base.

Learn more about how Engageware Employee Knowledge Management helps 200+ banks and credit unions empower employees with consistent, reliable information at their fingertips.

Resources to Get You Started:

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