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Increasing Organizational Literacy

1 May 2010
Tzvika Amit

Naturally, a great deal of knowledge circulates within an organization: in people's minds, in private reference materials, in files, and in various systems. Preserving organizational resources requires documenting significant knowledge to prevent loss, which is why organizations encourage employees to document using an organizational knowledge system.

While the organization invests significant resources and efforts in the knowledge capture process, the system's growth also makes it unwieldy. This often leads to employees struggling to find the information they need, creating a new problem of navigating a 'sea of knowledge.' This challenge is particularly daunting for those who are not proficient in search methodology, making them feel like they are searching for a needle in a haystack.

What's the solution? Organizations wishing to improve their employees' search literacy can offer active aids and search support tools that will assist in organizing content in the information system. Search engine guidance containing tips and efficient methods for finding what is needed can be added. We can present users with information about word combinations for achieving good search results, showcase the organization's knowledge management methodology, lay out the content domains in the system, and so on.

Contrary to the prevailing trend of exclusive use of search engines, the old and reliable method of navigating through a well-constructed content tree is an alternative worth considering offering users. Finally, if the organization invests appropriate resources, the option to consult an expert information specialist can be added for users. When a question is raised in the system, the expert will guide the employee on scanning the knowledge system and finding the desired item professionally.

In conclusion, it's important to note that instead of solely investing in the information system, allocating resources to increase employees' search literacy can yield numerous benefits for the organization. These include improved efficiency, enhanced knowledge management, and a more empowered workforce.

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