Human capital in an enterprise holds a vast treasure trove of knowledge. Knowledge that has the power to make or break the entire enterprise.
If shared properly, this knowledge can be the pillar for enterprise success. If it is held as a prerogative, the entire corporate structure might come collapsing down.
This is why knowledge sharing is one of the most crucial practices to be followed in any enterprise.
Yet, many don’t understand the essence of it or fail to implement it effectively. Here, we have talked about knowledge sharing and how you can implement it successfully across any enterprise.
Understanding the importance of Knowledge Sharing
Before getting into the effective ways of using knowledge sharing in enterprises, it is imperative to understand the essence of it. The term is pretty self-explanatory: Knowledge Sharing. Sharing knowledge and information makes it accessible among the people, teams, and departments in an enterprise.
Each employee in an organization holds enterprise knowledge about the processes, operations, systems, etc. But in addition to this knowledge, each human working on a system also possesses knowledge about the shortcuts, tricks, or best practices to get the work done faster. This knowledge usually goes away when the person walks out of the job. With knowledge sharing, you make sure this knowledge stays within your enterprise.
It allows everyone to have access to all types of knowledge in an enterprise. Be it tacit knowledge, implicit knowledge, explicit knowledge, or any other kind of knowledge. Everyone shares their ways of working or their knowledge with others in their department to ensure their efficiency or expertise is not limited to them.
It also boosts transparency in the enterprise in terms of the information everyone has.
How To Effectively Impact Knowledge Sharing In Enterprise Companies
While companies have been implementing knowledge sharing best practices to remove any barrier in access to information, enterprises might face problems in collecting information from a large number of workers.
This is because of the multitudinous teams, locations, departments, and much more. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from reaping the benefits of knowledge sharing process. Here are some effective ways to get your enterprise to build the knowledge treasure trove that anyone can access to gain information.
1. Define Your Enterprise’s Infrastructure
Your infrastructure is the system that makes up the enterprise’s environment. And it is not just the technical or digital infrastructure that we are talking about. Obviously we cannot ignore the importance of an enterprise digital system or enterprise software for seamless channels that stores data and analyzes it for insights. This is still not enough. The physical infrastructure that defines your enterprise culture.
For an enterprise that welcomes knowledge sharing, the infrastructure should be such that it encourages open communication. Just having a top-down structure wouldn’t help. Although knowledge sharing is essentially a top-down dynamic, it should also be a peer-to-peer or horizontal structure. Not just the senior management but also the executives and others should be open to communicating.
Build an infrastructure where everyone is open to discussing their work. Normalize the habit of sharing progress, setbacks, and other information relating to any project. This way, your team members are encouraged to share their learnings with others.
Moreover, while defining the infrastructure, also define the format, structure, and channel of communication so that the information is added uniformly and is easier to access and understand.
2. Build A System Sans Hoarders
Nothing alienates a company from effective knowledge sharing more than hoarders. There are several companies where employees love to be hoarders. Don’t get us wrong. We aren’t pinpointing employees who hoard papers from a copy machine or those that take away other stationery. Here, we are talking about information hoarders.
Several employees feel that keeping information or knowledge to themselves offers them job security. It makes them feel like an indispensable part of the enterprise. This ultimately leads to knowledge hoarding.
It is important to recognize the work of people and let them know that their hard work is appreciated. Recognize their mentorship and award them to ensure there is a higher level of knowledge sharing.
3. Bring A Cultural Shift
In an enterprise, knowledge sharing is not just about bringing a knowledge-sharing platform in place. It is more about a cultural shift. There is resistance in employees in sharing information which they might feel is their skill or talent. This is why it needs to be a shift towards a knowledge-sharing culture instead of a forced platform adoption.
One way could be to align personal promotions or increments with the knowledge passed. Every employee should act as a mentor, sharing information with other employees. This would create a culture where each employee is ready to impart and receive knowledge from one another. You need to be sure that knowledge is not limited to a single person, who, if leaves, would take it all with him/her.
This cultural shift would make your enterprise more foundationally strong and eliminate any reliance on a single person. In fact, it will even make everyone appreciate knowledge sharing.
4. Find The Right Knowledge Sharing Platform
There are several ways in which enterprises share knowledge. However, a knowledge-sharing platform automates the process and makes the knowledge accessible to everyone across the enterprise. Several platforms allow sharing of information in the organization.
While small companies can do knowledge sharing with traditional means, a knowledge-sharing platform is a must-have for enterprises. They are large organizations with multiple locations, thousands of employees, huge departments, generation differences, language gaps, and much more. This can easily lead to a silo mentality in the organization and lead to communication gaps.
Knowledge-sharing platforms like Pigro, Confluence, etc., work great with large systems like enterprises. Such platforms have different channels for different departments, different workflows, or people with different skill sets. There are templates available on such platforms that can be used for creating the channels. You need to find a platform that best suits your enterprise’s requirements.
Knowledge sharing can be a driving force in an enterprise’s growth. From solving problems quickly to identifying mistakes, knowledge-sharing allows enterprises to come together as a whole and grow. It can eliminate the noise in communicating and sharing information. And the best way to impact knowledge sharing in an enterprise is through knowledge-sharing platforms. Such platforms can eliminate all challenges of collecting, sieving, and categorizing information to make it accessible when needed.
Tanya Kumari leads the Digital Marketing & Content for Classic Informatics, a global web development company. She is an avid reader, music lover and technology enthusiast who likes to be up to date with all the latest advancements happening in the techno world. When she is not working on her latest article on tech dynamics, you can find her by the coffee machine, briefing co-workers on the perks of living a healthy lifestyle and how to achieve it.
Read more: Focus on Knowledge Management: how to automate the management of information
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