We live in a world where access to information and data is critically important in order for most things to function. This is especially true in the modern workplace which relies on knowledge in order to thrive and succeed. When your company adopts a knowledge sharing culture, you can expect to have better work processes, see an increase in productivity and watch your business grow.
Why is knowledge sharing important in the workplace?
Within your business you will have a range of employees with different types of corporate knowledge. Senior employees and those with more experience will likely hold the most critical information for your business.
Quite often, employees can be reluctant to share the information they have gained with time and experience for a number of reasons: they don’t want to see anyone else take over their position, they feel like they are the subject matter expert and people should always defer to them, or they feel they are too busy to share the information.
This phenomenon helps to contribute to information silos within organizations: they are a bane on productivity and can contribute to dysfunctional workplace culture.
When employees retire or resign, they often take valuable information with them that isn’t stored in a filing cabinet or in the Cloud: it’s stored inside their minds. Having processes in place to encourage
When knowledge is freely shared, employees can be more productive and work at the best of their ability. When it’s hard to find information, or know who to ask to get the information, valuable time is lost that could be spent doing more productive things.
Knowledge sharing allows employees to easily share their experiences and knowledge with colleagues from across the organization, and likewise people can tap into valuable information from elsewhere in the company. The benefits of knowledge sharing include:
- Better decision-making
- Improved problem solving
- Higher levels of productivity
- Improved team performance
- Improved company results
- Increased innovation.
How to improve knowledge sharing within your organization
There are some steps you can take to implement in your company to create a knowledge sharing culture so that employees can more easily access important information.
1. Have employees report on their learnings
When employees are involved in certain activities like a new project or a change management scenario, it can be beneficial to get them to provide a review of what they learned. This includes what worked well, what didn’t work so well, what steps were taken to achieve a particular outcome and so on.
2. Provide mentoring opportunities
By having more experienced staff members mentor less experienced employees, you are forging a culture where team members learn from one another through information and advice that is passed down. This has additional benefits of helping to develop team members by providing them with a learning opportunity.
3. Invest in digital tools to help the process
Having the right tools and platforms in place is critical if you want your employees to be able to access information more easily. Outdated intranet sites and search functions can only make information management more difficult.
4. Improve internal communication
Take steps to improve internal communication throughout your company. This includes top down communication from management to employees, bottom up communication from employees to management and interdepartmental communication where different teams communicate with one another. This is the best way to break down information silos and build relationships in the process. DeskAlerts is a great tool to improve internal communications and make knowledge sharing easy for everybody.
Download for free
Provide tools that encourage knowledge sharing
There are different ways to improve knowledge sharing in a digital workplace. It’s important that you have systems in place that are fit-for-purpose for the modern workplace. This can include:
- Collaboration platforms such as Teams, Asana, Basecamp
- Tools like Trello where people can map out projects together
- Creating a wiki on your company intranet as a place to store critical corporate knowledge
- Better use of messenger apps that have a search function so people can go back and find information.
- A search function that works well
- Better policies around version control in documents
- Greater use of different media types such as video or audio
- Innovative internal communications tools to promote knowledge sharing and drive people to where the information can be found
- Apps to reach people who are not always in the office.
Sharing knowledge in your workplace will help to make it more efficient and will help develop your employees. In order to do so effectively, you’ll need to review your current processes and implement new ones to get the most out of the corporate knowledge that is held in your organization.
Frequently asked questions
Why is knowledge sharing so important?
Knowledge sharing is important within an organization as it means employees can share what they know to help the company perform better, connect with their peers and become more consummate professionals.
Why is sharing culture important?
Sharing culture within an organization helps employees to work cooperatively and collaboratively, fostering teamwork, building relationships and breaking down information silos.
Why is it important to share information knowledge and experiences with your team?
By sharing information, knowledge and experiences with your team, you can unlock the following benefits:
- Help your company grow
- Boost motivation
- Tap into people with different skill sets to get the best result
- Provide exposure to different peoples’ talents so it isn’t a secret
- Help to generate new ideas
- Help to discover your company’s future leaders
- Decreasing skills gaps within your organization
- Increasing business efficiencies
- Providing employees with a greater sense of purpose
- Build stronger teams.
How does company culture help in knowledge sharing?
Having a strong company culture helps employees to feel empowered to share their knowledge with one another. When you encourage openness, accountability, teamwork and collaboration it will be invariably necessary for people to engage in knowledge sharing as a by-product of your strong culture.