In an organizational setup, the power of knowledge can be leveraged only when it is shared effectively. In many cases, crucial knowledge stays only with a select few, and when they leave the organization, so does the knowledge. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. By creating a culture of knowledge sharing, you can manage your organizational knowledge properly and give your people the right platform to access it.
In this blog, we shall explore the importance of knowledge sharing and how you can promote it efficiently across your organization with the right strategies.
What is meant by knowledge sharing?
Knowledge sharing refers to the process of transferring critical information from one person to another within an organization. Organizations must create spaces for open communication and encourage a healthy exchange of ideas. In addition to creating a culture of knowledge sharing, companies should also invest in a technological infrastructure that supports sharing of critical knowledge.
What is the purpose of knowledge sharing?
The purpose of knowledge sharing is to leverage the power of collective knowledge possessed by your team. You can use this to run your operations smoothly and effectively without any issues. Most importantly, knowledge sharing puts a stop to hoarding of valuable information that may be required to make some timely decisions.
What is the importance of knowledge sharing?
Knowledge sharing focuses on breaking down information silos in an organization and ensuring the easy availability of all tacit (know-how) knowledge. Since tacit knowledge comes from hands-on experience, most organizations lose it when their key employees leave. When you have a strong process that focuses on knowledge sharing, you can preserve your organizational knowledge and use it for future growth.
Moreover, organizations that practice a culture of knowledge sharing typically witness higher productivity, better employee engagement and better team morale. If you neglect knowledge sharing, your employees won’t always have the right information when they need to access it. As a result, your organization might lose a lot of productive man hours on redundant information searches.
What is an example of knowledge sharing?
Let’s say you are working on installing a new software asset in your IT infrastructure, and you encounter a potential security issue. You immediately flag it down and write a quick note on the security issue. If there is a common knowledge base in your organization, you can add this update and let other members of your team know about this issue.
Similar examples of knowledge sharing are quite common in various everyday operations. In the above example, the issue wouldn’t have been known to other team members if there was no channel to share the tacit knowledge. If this information is shared in, say, a Slack channel, there’s no easy way for someone to access it at a later date. Knowledge sharing is only optimized when it’s shared across the team and across time by making it easy to find, whenever needed, and by whoever needs it.
What are the benefits of knowledge sharing?
Fostering a culture of knowledge sharing helps your team members become experts. This helps organizations save money on training, enhance efficiency, streamline operations and more. In addition, you can also witness the following benefits when you promote knowledge sharing.
Promote organizational alignment
In a good knowledge-based system, everything properly aligns with each other. When knowledge is widely shared, everyone understands what is going on. This helps your team members collaborate better and share their workloads whenever necessary.
Improve processes and productivity
When all your employees are well-informed and up to date, it naturally improves the quality of your processes. Well-informed employees can make timely decisions that can streamline your operations. As a result, your productivity will improve significantly.
Standard process for knowledge collection, accessibility and retention
In an organization with a culture of knowledge sharing, there will be a standardized process for knowledge collection, accessibility and retention. Nothing will be left to chance here. Even if a key employee leaves the job, you don’t lose their knowledge and expertise.
Create better experience for your customers
The benefits of knowledge sharing are not just limited to your employees. Your customers can also witness these benefits to a great extent. For instance, well-informed customer support staff can get things done quickly and reduce the response time for new customer tickets. As a result, your customers can get their issues resolved at a much faster rate.
Save money and resources
Training new employees can be quite costly and resource intensive. With effective knowledge-sharing processes, you can get your employees trained faster and get them productive much quicker, saving money and resources as a result.
Employee growth and satisfaction
Knowledge sharing gives a chance for your employees to learn new things and grow in their existing job roles. When your employees are empowered to do new things, they take pride and gain more satisfaction in their work.
How do you promote knowledge sharing?
Considering the endless benefits of knowledge sharing, you need to incorporate the right system in your organization to promote it. Here is a list of ways you can promote and encourage effective knowledge sharing in your company.
Foster a culture of sharing knowledge
In an organization where every team works in silos, information sharing can be quite difficult to attain. As a result, valuable knowledge is shared only with close associates and peers. You need to dismantle your information silos and make knowledge sharing a part of your organization’s value. Employees sharing valuable knowledge should also be rewarded.
Reduce communication barriers
Communication plays a vital role in promoting knowledge sharing. When employees’ new ideas are not heard, they might feel detached from their work. This could affect your overall productivity as well. You can overcome this by reducing communication barriers. For instance, you can create a centralized platform for various departments to share their expertise.
Establish knowledge-sharing roles and processes
You can also promote knowledge sharing by creating specific roles and processes. For instance, a knowledge manager in a team can be responsible for capturing, managing, processing and sharing information. Similarly, there should also be standard processes for all aspects of knowledge sharing and accessibility.
Encourage and reward knowledge-sharing activities
When you incentivize knowledge sharing with various rewards, you could achieve your goals much quicker. Many employees respond positively to rewards, and they would love to be recognized for their contributions. Something as simple as giving them a shoutout can go a long way in encouraging knowledge-sharing behavior.
Acknowledge and address barriers to knowledge sharing
Issues cannot be solved unless they are identified first. If you find knowledge sharing to be ineffective in your team, conduct thorough research on the barriers preventing it. Once you have identified the barriers, you can work toward eliminating them.
Utilize knowledge-sharing tools
Knowledge sharing doesn’t have to be a boring, manual process. There are sophisticated documentation tools that can double as knowledge-sharing tools and help you achieve your goals. Make sure you choose the right tool and make the most out of it.
What is a knowledge-sharing tool?
A knowledge-sharing tool provides a centralized hub for sharing all the required information. You can use it to share an array of organizational information ranging from how-to guides to critical process documentation.
The tool should come with a simple and easy-to-use interface. It should have a reliable search function and allow you to identify related items. Most importantly, it should integrate with popular tools in the market and allow you to sync all your documentation within a single point of view.
When you have the right tool with the right functionalities, knowledge sharing and knowledge management become an easy affair.
Knowledge sharing and collaboration with IT Glue
IT Glue is an award-winning documentation solution with powerful knowledge management capabilities. With its powerful features, IT Glue facilitates easy knowledge sharing with your team members and allows you to relate them with the rest of your documentation.
IT Glue’s SOC 2-compliant documentation platform also comes packed with an immutable audit trail, network discovery, diagramming and more. All these features are fully integrated and linked with all your documentation.
To learn more about how IT Glue can help you with knowledge sharing, request a demo of our industry-leading documentation platform.