Sharing knowledge creates value, both within and outside your organization. It increases trust between employees and management, significantly contributes to a learning culture, and gives a competitive advantage in the market as you are perceived as a seriously dedicated organization.
According to a workplace knowledge and productivity report, large businesses that fail to share knowledge, end up losing $47 million a year.
Sharing knowledge within an organization not only increases productivity but also encourages employees to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. Employees will work smarter and faster if they have easy access to knowledge, resources, and expertise.
Despite this fact, knowledge sharing seems to be one of the most difficult challenges that companies face today. This has much to do with how you embed knowledge sharing within your company culture.
So, how do you create a culture where employees are encouraged to foster knowledge sharing? Read on to learn a few ways how to improve knowledge sharing across your organization.
Support Your Team by Investing in the Right Software Tools
One of the best ways to improve knowledge sharing in your organization is by using knowledge-base software tools that help your business collect, handle, and share valuable internal and external knowledge in an efficient and comprehensive manner.
The right help center software will give your support personnel a competitive advantage and help them respond to customers in a timely and organized manner. On top of that, it will help your business provide a seamless experience and retain customers. By allowing all prospects to find answers to their questions and solve their problems on your website, you provide a service that will keep them coming back for more. This type of software unifies customer-facing messages and provides a single interface for information exchange.
Lead by Example
Employees will observe and emulate the behavior and attitude of their executive or team leader. It’s important to provide positive reinforcement when employees share information that benefits the company. You should also encourage others to share their knowledge.
It is also important to be transparent. Show your employees examples of knowledge sharing that have proven to be successful and highlight the business goals and projects it has supported. People will feel valued and more motivated to provide creative and innovative solutions if they understand the value of their contribution to a larger project.
Incentivize Knowledge Sharing
Many people see knowledge sharing as intrinsically rewarding. To make knowledge sharing rewarding, you don’t need to raise an employee’s pay. Many employees believe that being recognized as experts is enough of a reward.
However, some employees require something more. For instance, give your employees credit for the knowledge shared and make sure you mention their names wherever possible. Give a shout-out during team meetings, compliment them on their efforts and results, and praise them for their contribution in a post, email, or newsletter.
To reward employees for their collaboration skills, you can also give tangible prizes such as company swag and small gift cards.
Create a Knowledge Library
As knowledge sharing is an integral part of your company culture, it’s crucial to keep all the information safe so that future and current employees can use it. To ensure that all employees have easy access to the internal knowledge base, teach them where to find information and how to contribute to process documentation or knowledge retention efforts.
Try to promote knowledge-sharing activities and processes that allow employees to easily store documents and capture subject matter expertise. You could create simple templates to help team members document certain types of knowledge or give them the option of capturing their knowledge in whatever format they prefer, such as a video, write-up, or some other format.
One reason employees might be reluctant to share their knowledge is that they don’t realize its value. Any small, specific piece of knowledge can help improve the overall efficiency of the team. It is important to create a culture where no amount of information is too small to be shared. This is in line with microlearning, where you share small bits of information via digital media.
Microlearning is possible with e-learning authoring tools. This means that your authoring software must be mobile-friendly and allow for screen captures and videos to be uploaded. Employees will be able to easily write and share useful tips and tricks that can make a world of difference.
Knowledge sharing is beneficial for every organization. It saves valuable time and allows you to train your staff on a regular basis. By keeping the above tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a more cohesive team, boost engagement, and make the company a place where people feel valued and enjoy working.