Sharing best practices across your organization is an excellent way to improve overall performance and productivity. Regardless of the size of your group, team or company, capturing and communicating your employees’ experiences and knowledge will accelerate learning for all involved.
During the day-to-day hustle, it can be difficult to create a classroom-like setting for employees to learn from one another. You can certainly set aside time in your team’s schedule for a formal learning opportunity, like attending a conference or online webinar; however, there are other ways to facilitate knowledge sharing:
- Lunch and learns
- Mentorship programs
- Chat groups through workplace apps, like Microsoft Teams and Slack
- Cloud platforms and workspaces, like Confluence
No matter how you approach knowledge sharing, ensure that it’s consistent so that your employees and business can reap its benefits.
Benefits of Knowledge Sharing
Establishes a learning culture
Every organization has team members at various levels, serving in different roles, with different skill sets. Each person is a product of their own experiences and the learning that comes from those experiences.
By cultivating a culture where learning from each other is part of the standard ways of working, you encourage team members to take a role in growth and development.
Fills knowledge gaps
Managers should be able to recognize knowledge gaps within the company and can gauge where knowledge sharing could be most valuable to team members. Whether it’s giving employees a “refresher” course on a topic or teaching them something new, it will improve the overall productivity of your team. It’ll also support your employees’ professional development goals.
Improves recruiting efforts, retention and employee engagement
Establishing regular training sessions can also bolster your recruiting endeavors. Candidates want to work for companies that are invested in them, so promoting that you take part in knowledge sharing and invest in professional growth will benefit hiring and retention efforts.
Encourages innovative and creative thinking
No matter their level of experience, everyone has something to share. Invite your employees to share their creative and innovative ideas. You never know who might come up with the newest and best idea.
Allow your employees to share their ideas both formally and informally as to cater to different communication preferences. Consider asking your team to email you with ideas and set up a “comment box” where your team can leave physical notes detailing their concepts.
Boosts efficiency and competence
When it comes to processes, it’s best to talk about them frequently so that everyone is on the same page as to how tasks should be done. Having these conversations is also a great time to discuss the potential change in process. Employees might have ideas on how to make company practices more efficient, therefore saving the organization time and money.
Another result of creating discussions around processes is that your employees will feel more confident and competent in their roles.
Provides employees with an internal knowledge base
Sharing best practices allows you to provide your team with an internal knowledge base. Similar to how social media networks allow consumers to easily and frequently share content, you can leverage cloud networks to create an internal knowledge base that’s only available to your company. This cloud platform can serve as a communication tool for your team to chat freely about work and to document processes. You can also use this knowledge base to store information and files that employees need to easily access, like company policies, employee handbooks, HR paperwork, etc.
Reduces the loss of know-how
Almost every organization experiences the hardship that follows when a key team member leaves. Often, processes and responsibilities are not properly communicated prior to an employee leaving, which results in confusion, poorly executed jobs and tasks going undone.
Know-how is an important asset in every company and should be managed properly. By documenting and sharing best practices, an organization can minimize challenges when it comes to the training and onboarding of new employees.
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