The knowledge and expertise of employees are a company's greatest asset. Sharing knowledge with each other drives up the value of employee knowledge and is considered essential in the ever-evolving corporate environment.
Effective knowledge sharing at the workplace enhances the capability and quality of the team driving productivity and innovation.
Often people apply their experience and insights in their duties and keep it to themselves, hindering the progress of the company. Such a competitive environment does not harness the combined talent of employees in the company. In order to improve the knowledge-sharing at workplace, companies need to create a collaborative environment.
Here are a few ways to boost knowledge sharing in your organization:
1. Reduce the communication barriers between employees
In order for a business to run smoothly and carry out the necessary day-to-day operations in an efficient manner, communication amongst all employees must be as effective and clear as possible. When this is not the case, employees feel detached from one another and unmotivated, which in turn results in mistakes that could potentially have drastic consequences on the business' productivity.
This can be done in various ways, such as creating a platform to facilitate knowledge sharing., which could be in the form of an online knowledge-sharing forum where employees share their ideas for innovation and current experiments. Furthermore, it could also take the form of an after-work activity (such as lunch or drink meet-ups), where senior employees can get to know the newer employees, and provide them with tips and recommendations on their new positions in the company.
Communication skills training can give you more ideas on creating a culture of open, frictionless communication at your company.
2. Are all employees benefiting from the resources archived in your files?
With resources like Google Drive and SharePoint available today, it's never been easier to make training and "how to" documents or videos easily accessible throughout a company.
Make sure that your employees know what resources are available to them and where they can find them. Also, make it company policy to put any document that will be used by more than one person in shared files rather than saving them to their computer's hard drive.
3. Set up regular meetings for employees to catch up on tasks and discover how they can help one another
Even within a team, it can be hard for employees to keep track of what their teammates are up to. Set up a weekly catch up where everyone talks about what they are working on and might need help with.
If your company is larger, encourage collaboration between employees with similar roles on different teams. Not only will this allow people to get to know each other, but it opens the door for more knowledge sharing on a day-to-day basis.
4. Ease up on the competition.
While competition can be a great motivator in some cases, it also tends to shut the door on wider collaboration between different company segments. Reward knowledge-sharing and make sure that everyone understands how it can help the company prosper - creating more opportunities for everyone.
5. Set up senior employees as mentors for new employees
Your employees are your greatest resource in terms - especially when it comes to knowledge and experience. Make sure that your employees have the opportunity to share theirs with the newer generation.
Not only does it help new employees learn and give them a set person to go to for advice, but mentors get to expand their skills. Learning how to mentor and making them put into words the knowledge that they have worked so hard to gain.
If you need help setting up a mentoring program, mentoring training can help you get started.
6. Provide space for employees so that they can have informal conversations.
Create gathering places in the office that employees will naturally be drawn to during lunch or break time. A kitchen encourages this naturally, but also consider setting up some cozy sofas and tables.
7. Allow employees to work together on company projects
Working on something as part of a larger company is a great way to accomplish point four above. When people work as part of a larger group they will understand the purpose of their own team on a higher level.
This should naturally help your team members see the importance of collaboration at every level of the company - and how important it is to share knowledge.
8. Allow constructive feedback
When you’re part of a team, sooner or later, there will be some friction or conflict. Deadlines, stress and spending long hours together are all terrible advisers when the stakes are high.
This human element of a team is often neglected or overlooked by management. Still, to prevent escalation or to detect issues proactively, you can hold feedback meetings where everyone can share their opinion. You could discuss both work related issues as well as settle interpersonal quarrels. So at the end of the day, everyone can move forward and focus on the tasks at hand.
Still, in every workplace environment there are people who are less outspoken than others. To make sure everybody's heard, it is not a bad idea to send out (bimonthly) feedback surveys in addition to your meetings, this way the more introverted team members have an opportunity to voice their remarks anonymously.
9. Encourage team members to mix with other teams in the company.
Although a sales guy and a tech guy might not naturally interact with one-another during the workday, schedule meetings where they can share knowledge about your product or services and watch the benefits of this shared knowledge unfold.
Knowledge sharing is essential for a corporation to run smoothly and uninterrupted. Valuable information can be exchanged among employees which enhances their performance and create a healthy professional relationship.