Effective and efficient knowledge sharing and management are crucial for companies to make the most of their talent pool, and eventually, grow and boost their bottom line. After all, knowledge sharing has tons of benefits for an organization – increasing social interaction, breaking communication barriers, enabling better problem-solving, increasing efficiency and productivity and ultimately, improving the bottom line.
Many companies are unaware that knowledge hoarding exists within their organization, which is the inability to share information that could be beneficial. This could be because employees do not want to or care for it, or because the process to do so is non-existent or very poor. Either way, this suggests that there is a need to create and establish a culture of knowledge sharing in a company. Here are some tips to help you out:
· Your office space and culture should be conducive to interactions
The more opportunities that employees have to interact with each other informally and share conversations, the easier it is for them to have meaningful discussions and exchange information. Many tend to overlook the role that the design of your office space plays in creating such a culture. However, open office plans have been shown to facilitate communication between employees. If this is not possible, an open-door policy should do the trick. When people feel that they can just walk up to their colleagues any time they have a question or have an idea they wish to share, it becomes that much easier.
· Implement a comprehensive mentoring program
Another great way to encourage a culture of knowledge sharing in your organization is to implement a mentoring program. Mentoring is a valuable investment that any company can make as it ensures that you not only identify worthy employees but also to increase the capability of your talent pool in general. The key is to find the perfect mentor-mentee pairing so that both parties can make the most of the program and share the knowledge they can both benefit from.
· Don’t underestimate the power of scheduled meetings
After talking about more unconventional strategies of creating a knowledge sharing culture, you may disregard the power of scheduled meetings. However, this good old method of encouraging discussion with round table conferences shouldn’t be underestimated. Make sure to schedule meetings with employees where you have a clear purpose so that by the end of it, there is a sense of achievement. Besides, meeting colleagues and superiors face-to-face for discussion can boost confidence and encourage employees to share their ideas more.
· Recognition and incentives are great boosters of knowledge sharing
Whenever an employee shares valuable knowledge that the company can benefit from, it is important to recognize their effort and contribution and rewards them for it. This incentivization not only encourages the rewarded employee to continue such behavior in the future but also encourages other employees to do the same. When people feel that their efforts are recognized and appreciated, they will be more willing to share their ideas.
· Make use of a knowledge sharing software
It’s not enough to only share knowledge; you must have a system that will help you manage the information you have gathered efficiently. This is why companies should invest in quality knowledge sharing and management software that is suited for their needs and goals. With such a platform, then it becomes much easier for employees to share knowledge as they have access to the required tools and technology to do so. This brings about much-needed flexibility in the way information is exchanged.