Research shows that an effective knowledge sharing program helps to improve productivity, reduce employee frustration, preserve organizational knowledge, and improve the bottom line. In today’s competitive business climate, it stimulates companies of all sizes to develop a strategy to facilitate knowledge sharing and training.
The reason why so many companies struggle with sole mindset or knowledge hoarding (when an individual possesses knowledge that would be beneficial to their team member, but either refuses to share it or makes it difficult to access) is that they fall flat when it comes to knowledge management.
According to the Panopto study, employees need systems for effectively sharing knowledge. Eighty-one percent of respondents report feeling frustrated when they can’t get the information they need to do their jobs, and 85 percent agree that preserving and sharing unique knowledge in the workplace is critical to increasing productivity. Sixty percent of respondents find it “difficult,” “very difficult,” or “nearly impossible” to obtain information vital to their job from their colleagues. The result is lower productivity as employees struggle to seek out the details they need to perform tasks, inadvertently replicating work that has already been done.
On average, large enterprise businesses lose $47 million in productivity each year because knowledge is not shared efficiently among workers. Besides, workers waste an average of 5.3 hours weekly awaiting information from their colleagues and recreating existing institutional experience resulting in delayed projects, missed opportunities, and widespread frustration.
Knowledge sharing is not something that should be seen as a ‘compensation benefit’ when it comes to getting top talent access or retaining that talent internally within an organization. Knowledge sharing should be a continuous mandatory ecosystem and not something you are entitled to provide or take away.
Here are a few tips on how to create a knowledge-sharing culture in the workplace:
- Make an accessible knowledge-sharing infrastructure
Nowadays, modern companies don’t want to lose energy and time on endless meetings and never-ending purposeless discussions. That is why they invest in learning management systems that serve as a cost-efficient, intuitive tool that can enable and foster informal teaching methods aside the traditional ones since not all employees/customers feel comfortable to fancy themselves as ‘experts.’ Given this, you practically help the shy individuals to level up on their confidence. Even meeting recordings, presentation streamlines, or interactive content can serve as a bundle of digital opportunities for ‘show how’ practices across the entire organization. Reachable from all devices, mobile or desktop, no matter where you are, the impact remains the same.
- Assemble and engage people via working in teams & channels
When you choose a platform for facilitating knowledge sharing, you reduce the communication barriers between people to establish friction-less communication. Let’s think of it like this. Imagine having your forum or social feed where you can share your ideas and solutions for a specific project in which are included all relevant sides. If you are a larger organization, then maybe it is better to encourage collaboration between employees with similar roles in different teams. With this approach, you ease up on the competition by rewarding knowledge-sharing and making sure that everyone understands how it can help the company prosper. Another good example is assigning coach content creators to keep their pieces short and straightforward or designating an individual or a team to act as the main point of specific content repositories. By doing so, you boost the team collective and motivate, recognize, and reward it adequately.
- Schedule in-house training for new employees to be mentored by their highly skilled employees
Passing, transferring, and cross-training competence are crucial beyond an organization’s performance only. If we think about how big of an influence this is to the upcoming generations, then the perspective itself would be foreseen from a different angle. Additionally, re-examining the onboarding and training methods should be one of the top priorities for companies and startups from the very beginning to execute on a larger scale. Assigning mentors to new colleagues, not only does it help new employees learn, but it gives them a set person to go to for advice. It nurtures the innovation itself, especially when young career starters brainstorm and generate their thoughts with more experienced ones; this is when the magic happens! Fresh, transparent and open-minded mindset is all you need 🙂
- Leave and allow room for constructive feedback.
We can’t say or neglect that working in a team is 100% perfect. The real beauty of it lies in the imperfection and flaws. Through our shortcomings, we learn how to grow on the spot. The management often overlooks the human element in a team. Deadlines, stress, and spending long hours together can be one of the few indicators when a conflict occurs. So before the situation escalates, it is highly advisable to hold feedback meetings where everyone can share their standpoints on both interpersonal and work-related issues and move forward while focusing on the tasks at hand. Still, not all organizations are physically close, some team members are in Sweden others in USA, so availability to book a video meeting on a tight schedule is a challenge.Also, you have people who are not that outspoken to say how they feel. In these cases, the smartest thing to consider is creating feedback surveys or interactive conflict resolution content, which can be shared among the third mediation figure, sounds nice, right? 🙂
- Lead by example and not by hierarchy
An atmosphere where we cherish group communication, instead of having the boss expound on his/her philosophy for hours, is something to remember that real organizational change has to occur at every level. When we find our work to be exciting, enjoyable, and stimulating, we are more likely to share knowledge since we act as if our motivation is intrinsic and enthusiastic. Autonomy in our daily work shows that staff are more willing to share insights about their endeavors while avoiding external feedback, which may result in manipulation and control. Areas such as scheduling, decision making, and process management provide excellent opportunities for developing a confident, engaged team.