How To Get People Sharing Knowledge In The Workplace (Four Simple Ways)
If you’re not sharing knowledge internally, you’re missing a trick!
Not only are you failing to build on collective knowledge, allowing you to avoid repeating mistakes and do more of things proven to work…
You also lose valuable knowledge from internal experts whenever they leave the company.
And in a lot of companies, it is actually being shared organically, there’s just no consistent way or place to capture it – meaning it gets lost in the flow of conversation.
The good news is that this missed opportunity, which can have hard consequences, is pretty easy to solve.
And that’s why we’re giving you four simple ways to get people sharing knowledge in the workplace.
1. Get the platform and places right to reduce friction
According to Beezy, more than half of employees (56%) have been unable to find digital documents while working remotely.
And their report revealed the biggest tech challenge is that ‘Not everyone in the company uses the same tools and technologies’.
As an L&D team, your job is to reduce the friction of creating, centralising and finding.
At HowNow, we’ve got the Nugget – a way to capture knowledge and resources in a matter of clicks. Low learning curve, not time-consuming and something every employee can do.
That’s not to say you necessarily need a platform as a starting point! You could use Loom videos, for example, as a free and easy-to-use content creation tool.
That 56% who struggle to find resources are encountering a common problem. Useful resources exist, but they’re scattered across tools, drives, laptops and who knows where else.
If you can centralise everything and bring it into one search, you’ll also make it easier to find.
Look for tools that integrate with the ones your people use everyday, this will allow you to do that and embed it within existing behaviours.
2. Give people the guidelines to create effective content
This is one of the biggest fears around opening up content: We’ll lose control and end up with a landfill site – swapping one needle and haystack for another
And there are two simple ways you can protect yourself against this:
Guidelines: Provide clear instructions on how people should be creating resources.
For example, there will be a temptation to add lots of things they know rather than what’s relevant to solving the problem at hand. That is something we can solve through education, structure, and process.
Verification: Ensuring you keep content relevant and up to date.
Put a process in place to periodically assess whether a resource is still useful and current.
The biggest example and culprit is often pricing; where we end up with Pricing, Latest Pricing, Pricing 2022, Sales Pricing and however many other resources competing for the same query.
At HowNow, we have a built-in verifier, allowing you to set a customer reminder for a piece of content. You’ll then get a nudge when it’s time to check it’s still useful. Then you can either delete or update.
3. Empower people and help them see the value
Your first port of call should be to find your internal influencers! Those who are already sharing useful information and have built up credibility in the organisation.
Not only will they be likely to engage with your knowledge-sharing efforts, they’re typically natural advocates who explain the value to others.
We wrote about leveraging your internal influencers and using other marketing techniques here.
But this does lead us nicely to the power of positive feedback loops.
If people aren’t seeing the value in continuing to share knowledge, their enthusiasm, output and engagement might decrease over time.
So whether it’s calling out when one of their resources has been useful or using data to show the impact over time, you have to consider how you’re providing the positive feedback that drives people to keep sharing knowledge.
4. Allow employees to build on other people’s knowledge
If we’re going to build a collective company brain, we have to allow others to build on what’s been created by colleagues.
Let’s say we’re a global company with sales teams all over the world.
And one of our experts in the UK has created a prospecting and outreach guide based on their experience.
They can’t necessarily build something that perfectly fits the context of their North American, Asian or African counterparts.
But someone in a regional office might have insights into how it can be applied in their context.
Whether it’s discussion features or collaborative resources, it’s critical that we offer ways to build that compound knowledge together.
Check out our other knowledge sharing resources
- 7 reasons why knowledge sharing is important
- How to improve your knowledge base? Make it collaborative
- How to identify knowledge gaps: Answered in 5 minutes
- How sharing best practices can supercharge your company culture
- Plugging your leaky bucket: Stop losing valuable knowledge today
- Knowledge Sharing In A Fast-Changing World: Tapping Into Your Untapped Wisdom
- 5 Steps To Becoming A Knowledge Sharing Organisation