31st Jul 2020
3 Ways to Share Knowledge Effectively at Work: K is for Knowledge Sharing
Allowing your people to share their knowledge and expertise is essential in order for your business to be truly successful, and for your people to feel empowered to do their best work.
Do your people have the tools they need to collaborate, share knowledge and share resources?
It’s so important that they do. And the reason goes far beyond simply needing to ‘get a job done’. In fact, the human ‘givens’ suggests that being connected to a wider community is a fundamental emotional need.
It’s obvious when you think about it. Imagine restricting your peoples’ ability to access knowledge and hamper their efforts to communicate and collaborate. It would be frustrating for everyone involved!
By facilitating knowledge sharing, you’re enhancing the ability of your teams to work together, and the company as a whole to reach its goals. If everyone can connect seamlessly when they need to, the quality of work goes up, as does the workplace experience. Oh, and knowledge sharing can do wonders for productivity too.
In fact, the cost of not facilitating knowledge sharing can be significant for your business. According to Ejitime, companies are losing $10 billion a year because they’re failing to share knowledge.
So to make sure your business isn’t contributing towards that scary-looking figure, here are 3 key ways make sure your people have the tools they need to share knowledge effectively.
Create spaces for knowledge sharing
Besides the obvious meeting and conference rooms, kitchens are often spaces where people gather naturally at work (of course, the best parties are in the kitchen!) so you might consider creating a workplace café.
A work café is an opportunity to create a different vibe to the main office, and to create a space that gives colleagues a chance to collaborate in a more relaxed environment. By its nature, a café is an area for chance meetings which is where some of the best ideas can come to life.
If you want to know more on this, we’ve written a whole blog on the benefits of a work café.
As well as planned meetings, if you can encourage more of these ‘chance’ meetings, your business could benefit from:
- Accelerated innovation
- Better employee relations
- Increased motivation
- More ideas-sharing between departments
- Better decision-making
- Closer collaboration and team work
Build knowledge-sharing into your culture
For knowledge sharing to take off within your business, it needs to be engrained in your company culture.
Sometimes people can be reluctant to share knowledge. More often than not it’s out of fear that when they have, they’ll no longer be valuable to the business. Put their concerns to bed by showing that you value collaboration, perhaps with rewards for those who do share information effectively on successful projects.
Tech is literally made for knowledge sharing.
Whether it’s for file sharing or video conferencing, technology is all about connecting people and expertise. So it’s absolutely essential to utilise it if you’re going to increase collaboration across your business and reap the benefits.
One relatively simple step you can take to create efficiencies in sharing knowledge is going cloud-based with your file sharing. There are many options from Google Docs to Microsoft Teams. If everyone saves their files in one of these easily-accessible cloud systems, everyone can the information they need, when they need it.
When collaboration is this easy it can also prevent errors, support effective workflows and increase productivity.
What not to do…
Expect your team to take on too much information
You don’t want to overload people. Whilst we’ve established how beneficial it can be to share knowledge, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to know everything. Plus, the real value of your people lies in their individual, specialised skill-sets.
Over-focus on tech
Technology can help make the process of knowledge sharing much easier, but it’s not the only way to share knowledge effectively. There’s often no substitute for talking face to face!
Fail to experiment
Trying new things is the only way to find out what works for your business. And it’s important to keep experimenting as your team grows and your business changes. In fact, a study by the Ivey Business Journal, showed that performance within an organisation improves when people do things differently.
Ready to collaborate?
For more personalised advice on how you can create a workplace where knowledge-sharing becomes second nature, we’d be happy to talk you through it. Give us a quick call on 01530 223111 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.