Knowledge Sharing: 5 Strategies to Share Knowledge In the Workplace
Knowledge management is one of the most crucial yet overlooked aspects of workplace progress. When employees fail to get access to the knowledge necessary for completing their tasks, the organization suffers.
Knowledge sharing in the workplace can increase productivity, social interaction, and trust among the team. It's great for nurturing the organization's knowledge bank so everyone can access it even as people come and go.
Here are five strategies you can use to share knowledge in the workplace.
1. Create a Knowledge-Sharing Environment
While you can encourage knowledge sharing in your workplace, not everyone would be open to it. If some people are good at public speaking or communication, others might shy away from it. It's essential to create an environment that promotes knowledge sharing, so it becomes second nature for the team.
For this, you can include different activities in your day-to-day office tasks. This can comprise increased interactions, team-building exercises, quizzes, and collaborations. Even with office tasks, assign groups to work together and share ideas and knowledge.
To encourage employees to share knowledge and resources with teammates freely, you can come up with a contribution campaign. Here, you can set apart 1 hour every week where team members talk about a particular topic.
This can be documented and preserved as part of the organization's knowledge library. It will be useful whenever someone wants to gain knowledge about a particular topic, and what's better than gaining that knowledge from your team members?
You can also organize trips and picnics (or fun virtual sessions), which strengthen the bonds between the team members. This will automatically encourage small talk and knowledge sharing.
2. Recognize and Reward Knowledge Sharing
Positive reinforcement works everywhere, and organizations are no exception. Try to reward employees who are making an effort to share knowledge. This will show other people that sharing and helping people understand concepts is rewarded and encouraged by the brand, thereby motivating more people to do it.
You can give the rewards after they do the task or at the end of an office year. You could offer a bonus or a small gift as a social media shout out or a free lunch coupon.
You might assume that because knowledge sharing is vital to the organization, that it will also be critical for employees. In truth, it won't matter to them until you make it a priority or attach an incentive to it.
Giving rewards for certain behaviors increases the chances of other people following the same to reward themselves. This might also help people open up because now, they have something to look forward to and gain from it.
3. Lead by Example
If the C-suite executive or senior members in the company don't follow knowledge sharing systems, it will be challenging for the rest of the team to do it. You must lead by example and show that it's equally important for everyone to do it.
Whenever there's a knowledge-sharing activity, senior members should be the first ones to begin because, ultimately, their knowledge is being passed on to the juniors and newcomers. The more the seniors get involved in such activities, the more other members will want to do it.
This will also ensure that knowledge sharing gets embedded as an essential part of the organizational functioning, so even after the senior members leave, the rest of the team takes the tradition and culture forward.
4. Manage Communication Barriers Between Employees
Effective communication between the employees is a must for the smooth working of an organization. If there are some barriers to it, there will be demotivation and detachment, leading to a toxic workplace environment.
To avoid this, employees should naturally feel the need to communicate with other members. Be it for small talk or office work, clear communication is the key to a successful business.
Ideally, when the communication barriers between the employees are managed, knowledge sharing will be a simple process. You could also establish an online forum or activity which facilitates easy communication.
In this process, employees may get new insights, tips, recommendations, or suggestions about their work, managing tasks, or more knowledge about the industry.
The more informed your employees are, the more they can develop creative ideas to grow your business.
5. Encourage the use of knowledge sharing tools
Inevitably, all the knowledge sharing cannot happen in the office, and if you have a remote team, the process can be a little challenging. However, some tools can help you with the process, ensuring it's a seamless activity.
Among others, MS Teams and Slack are some of the most common knowledge sharing tools where employees can share resources, webinars, business blogs, podcasts, and even their own videos sharing opinions on a particular topic.
You could also make a resource board on Trello, where members can keep adding resources relevant to a specific topic. You can give all members access to this board to use it and gain knowledge about a subject.
However, you must encourage using these tools so the employees feel motivated to leverage them.
Knowledge-sharing tools make it easy to access information and for employees to ask questions from each other. It also allows for seamless communication between employees.
You can benefit from a culture where employees help each other grow and share knowledge to work more effectively. It's the organization's collective efforts that will yield results, not just a few people's actions. So if you want to include it as part of your workplace culture, everyone will have to contribute.
These five ways are great to walk the path of knowledge sharing and empower employees to step towards it. Once everyone opens up, it will become natural to educate each other and share knowledge, ultimately helping the team grow professionally and personally.
Maximize everyone's contribution to this initiative and let everyone enjoy the process. This will make learning much more enjoyable.
About Adela Belin
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour (http://writersperhour.com/). She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.