“The failure to build the right knowledge-sharing culture can cost businesses around $265 million in productivity yearly.”
Today, the success of an organization is highly dependent on the employee's sound knowledge of their work, as it has the power to efficiently streamline the whole work process, enhance productivity, and lead to positive growth.
While knowledge and expertise can be considered a company's greatest asset, employees sharing their knowledge with their fellow coworkers is equally important. This knowledge can help them develop productive resources to advance your business through creative thinking and intelligent decision-making.
However, the failure to build the right knowledge-sharing culture can cost businesses around $265 million in productivity yearly. Therefore, it becomes imperative to encourage your employees to share knowledge constantly and build a learning culture in your workplace. Here are five strategies to encourage knowledge-sharing at your workplace.
It’s crucial to create an environment that promotes and values knowledge sharing. However, nearly one-third of companies rate their knowledge-sharing culture below 5 out of 10.
You need to understand that not everyone is comfortable speaking about their experiences with their colleagues, so you need to create an environment where they feel comfortable sharing their knowledge.
Start by incorporating team-building activities that encourage team interaction and allow for sharing experiences and learnings. This will help your employees build a connection and normalize sharing and seeking knowledge.
At the same time, building a culture that does not look down on the employees for making mistakes and encourages talking about them is vital, as there is always a lot to learn from failures than from success. Therefore, it's essential to create an atmosphere where your employees feel comfortable discussing their shortcomings or asking questions about subjects they don't understand.
As your organization embraces and integrates a culture of knowledge sharing, it becomes much easier to persuade people to share knowledge regularly. However, this cannot be accomplished in a day or two and will take time and a precise roadmap to get there.
According to a Forrester study, 36% of workers reported that they have trouble sharing knowledge among teams, leading to bottlenecks. Therefore, building a system for creating, storing, and sharing your team's knowledge can help make the whole process easy and accessible.
A simple roadmap for your knowledge-sharing process can look like this:
Building such a system will help you implement and streamline knowledge sharing across the organization.
As knowledge sharing becomes ingrained in a company's culture, it's vital to preserve the knowledge so that current and future workers can benefit from it.
You can encourage your employees to document their expertise in a way that is easy for them (video, audio, slide deck, write-up, etc.). You can further store them in a single place by creating a knowledge library out of these files that your employees can easily access.
Additionally, there is always a risk of losing your experienced and talented employees when they retire or change jobs. And all their expertise and knowledge will go with them when they leave. Therefore, a proper process and a dedicated knowledge library will help you at least retain their knowledge.
Senior employees can be a great source of knowledge for new employees. However, it's important to create the right platform for them to guide and share their knowledge with the newer recruits.
Assigning new employees to specific mentors within the organization will facilitate open discussions and knowledge exchanges. Besides helping new employees learn, this also enables mentors to expand their skills, thus preparing them for more challenging roles in the future.
Documenting and sharing knowledge may not be easy for everyone and might require additional effort and time. If this effort is not recognized, they may become unmotivated to share their knowledge.
Thus, creating an ecosystem that encourages knowledge-sharing becomes imperative as it’ll motivate those who share information and inspire others to do the same.
Here are a few ways to get started:
With the global working culture shifting towards remote and hybrid working models, a more significant push to share knowledge within the organization has become the need of the hour.
Implementing the five strategies mentioned in this article can help you provide that needed push, enabling you to strengthen your business's performance, give employees a reason to stay, and also enhance talent retention.
Alex Garcia is a content editor and writer at Writers Per Hour. She enjoys writing (and reading) about small business marketing, entrepreneurship, and design. When she's not writing, she's probably learning a new skill.
Alex Garcia reveals how business owners can create a knowledge-sharing culture to enhance productivity and growth as a team. Start building this culture from today by following her tips.