How can you reach better internal communication through knowledge sharing?
You know that internal communication plays a huge role in your company’s productivity. You want your teams to go beyond their silos and communicate more actively. You want them to share ideas and solve problems - together. But how do you encourage your people to engage in more frequent and productive discussions?
Internal communication is easy, if you get one thing right - the way you produce and share knowledge. Knowledge has the potential to stimulate powerful discussions that engage people. Focus on creating an ecosystem for producing and sharing knowledge - and your internal communication metrics will soar!
Here are 4 ways to foster internal communication through knowledge sharing.
1. Start at the Top
The easiest place to begin is at the top. What sort of knowledge can your top management share that will excite people to engage in discussions?
Start by changing how you communicate your monthly updates on different areas like sales, product development or marketing. Is your HR team doing something exciting that you would want everyone to know about? Share that update and encourage people to comment on that discussion.
What do they think of that new initiative? Do they have any ideas to improve it? Using an internal communication platform like Smarp will allow your employees to easily participate in the discussion.
Moreover, the more you ask people for their thoughts, they more valued they feel. They become encouraged to communicate more freely and frequently. You are creating the right culture to stimulate internal communication.
2. Solicit Ideas
Are you looking for a new idea for a marketing campaign? Why not throw open the question to the entire company?
Innovation experts like Clayton Christensen advocate the importance of seeking ideas from people across different departments. Each department brings a unique perspective to the discussion and blending them is a powerful way to generate innovative ideas. For example, an engineer might have learned a growth hacking technique at a startup event that she attended, and would be happy to share that tip.
Even if you solicit the idea over your online internal communication platform, don’t be surprised if you see a bump in offline interaction between different departments formally, as well as in informal settings like your cafeteria!
3. Encourage Product-Market Discussions
The most successful companies get one thing right - they know what their customers want.
Encouraging knowledge sharing among support, sales, marketing and your product teams, will help your whole company pitch in to build successful products or features.
Salespeople will be able to tell you about what different prospects are looking for. Support will tell you about the challenges customers are facing. Product teams can use that information to build features that most customers will find extremely useful. Marketing teams will be able to use those insights to create campaigns that make a powerful impact with your audience.
Having cross-functional meetings is one way of having these discussions, but they are usually time consuming and include only senior team members. Doing this over an internal communication platform democratizes the knowledge sharing process and involves everyone. It also makes knowledge sharing more frequent. Why wait for a week to share something in a meeting when you can do it on the go on your Smarp internal communication app?
4. Training Your Employees
One of the most underutilized benefits of internal communication is in facilitating employee training.
Every single day, employees have experiences that they learn from, but they end up sharing only a tiny percentage of these experiences with others. If a support team member learns something from a customer interaction, that bit of knowledge can help other support associates assist other customers facing a similar problem.
If you have an internal communication platform like Smarp with gamification and leaderboard functions, that will encourage people to share their experiences and knowledge and invite discussions around these topics. These knowledge sharing discussions can be especially helpful in quickly training new employees because they will have a practical resource to learn from.
Internal communication and knowledge sharing thrive in a mutually dependent cycle. Make it easier to share knowledge and your internal communication will improve. Employees will want to engage in discussions and work towards making things better.
In turn, as your internal communication becomes richer and engaging, your employees will want to initiate discussions and share their knowledge.
Which of these initiatives will you take to boost your internal communication?