5 tips to get employees to share knowledge
Knowledge sharing culture is an effect of a well-planned Learning & Development strategy. Its effectiveness largely depends on the openness of the employees to gain knowledge, but also to pass it on. If you want to create an organization based on knowledge, it is worth knowing what makes social learning work as it should, and what actions you should undertake to encourage your employees to share knowledge.
Social learning in the working environment may become a successful measure to improve the effectiveness of multiple internal and external processes of every organization. However, the companies do not always take full advantage of its potential – sometimes they commit simple mistakes or neglect important aspects of its functioning. If the company wants to encourage the employees to share knowledge with their coworkers, it has to remember several important aspects and principles.
1. Set clear goals
If you expect employees to share knowledge, you need to let them know about it. It’s not just a one-time statement of your expectations, but a regular communication campaign and even incorporating knowledge sharing into your employees’ individual goals.
2. Know the limitations of knowledge-sharing
Not every business environment is conducive to employee knowledge sharing. Where employees compete (for prestige, attention, or pay), fear losing their jobs, or have too many responsibilities, the implementation of social learning will be opposed and resisted.
3. Analyze the process of how employees share knowledge and provide them with facilitation
If you want knowledge-sharing to be an element of your organizational culture, do not leave the process unattended, relying on the good intentions of your employees. They can be enough for working in spurts. Mutual learning, like any internal process, needs to be analyzed and provided with proper organizational and technical support.
If your employees work online, it will be necessary to provide them with simple and effective IT tools. If the processes are live – meeting places. Also, it’s worth asking your employees what they need to learn effectively. Perhaps it will be a training on how to create PowerPoint presentations, or maybe a better division of daily responsibilities.
4. Develop a motivational system to make employees share knowledge
Developing a positive reinforcement system for the processes you implement is always a good idea. Before you present to employees what they can gain by sharing knowledge with their colleagues, ask them about their needs and expectations. A good practice is to send a short survey to employees. Don’t be afraid of a long wish list – employees do not expect their employer to fulfill their every whim. However, the responses may surprise you and help you develop a more effective reward system tailored to the needs of your employees.
5. Give the employees the right to feedback and to make mistakes
Two-way communication, i.e., allowing the employee to speak on any job-related topic, gives the employee a sense of autonomy and meaning. These are extremely important elements in building intrinsic motivation and in getting the employees to share knowledge. Foster in your team and the whole organization an atmosphere of openness in terms of submitting ideas, and improvements, commenting on processes and events, but also making mistakes. Only in such an environment, in which employees have a greater sense of freedom and trust, is knowledge sharing likely to take root.
Employees can share their knowledge on many levels in an organization – more or less formal. The key to success is creating the right conditions for employees to share knowledge, a system of incentives, and above all, an atmosphere in which a sense of security and trust prevails.
How can Workai help you to get your employees to share knowledge?
Workai is a platform that connects people and engages them not only to interact in internal social channels but also to improve knowledge sharing processes. Thanks to the system of quick search or auto-versioning of documents in the knowledge base, it is much faster and easier to find necessary information, share it and eventually collaborate on the same files simultaneously. Workai facilitates knowledge organization and accelerates communication between your employees.