Knowledge sharing enables a company to learn from mistakes and keep their employees empowered and engaged to the company.
The sharing economy is prized in our culture. Just look at successful companies like Uber and AirBnB and you’ll see that people value and benefit from a collective effort that is accessible to anyone.
Knowledge sharing is a thriving economy as well. No longer do we live in a time where organizations can get by with siloed information, with a select few holding the keys to the castle. Best-in-class organizations earn their success by empowering their employees through knowledge sharing and professional growth.
This is why embracing a knowledge sharing culture will help both organizations and employees grow and succeed together.
What Is Knowledge Sharing?
Knowledge sharing is the easy passing of information for the greater good of an organization. Knowledge isn't siloed, but is instead available to everyone, no matter what their role in the organization is. Think of knowledge as the currency that makes your internal organization more valuable when it is exchanged freely.
An organization with a strong knowledge sharing culture learns from mistakes, so they can move forward with an improved strategy. This organization also has the ability to build upon what worked, so they can scale success through a systematic approach.
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” Oscar Wilde
Knowledge Sharing Increases Employee Engagement
The operational investment in knowledge sharing will pay off when opportunities for learning make teams more happy and productive. Ultimately, employees will be vested in the company that creates this positive work environment for them.
Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report revealed that only 33 percent of employees are engaged in their jobs, and over half (51 percent) are actively seeking new job opportunities. Disengaged employees will lack enthusiasm and be at a higher risk of jumping ship. Morale throughout your organization will suffer, as will productivity.
Organizations can benefit greatly from supporting their employees’ professional growth. Knowledge sharing promotes engagement because it shows that you, as the employer, value what your employees have to offer. Employees who feel valued will give more quality work in return—and be more likely to stay. In turn, this builds a more inclusive culture that increases the power of knowledge as a team.
Knowledge Sharing Fosters Employee Empowerment
Supporting an employee’s professional and personal growth path will mean the difference between retaining top talent and losing them. By going the extra mile with knowledge sharing, employees will feel more connected and confident—and be committed to the organization that believed in them.
According to Gallup, only 15 percent of employees strongly agreed the leadership of their organization made them enthusiastic about the future. Stagnation and a lack of vision are the kiss of death for companies, because employees will take the “grass is always greener” mentality and search elsewhere to find the empowerment they seek.
Employees can benefit personally from building their professional knowledge skills. In addition, encouraging employees to build their personal brand with thought leadership will tie back to a brand in a positive way. These employees will feel they are contributing to a company that both challenges and celebrates their intelligence. The team and brand will be stronger when guidance and learning opportunities are plentiful.
Organizational Culture is the Main Driver of Knowledge Sharing Success
Knowledge sharing success means building a culture from the ground up in your organization. An open communication cycle is a critical component here. Communication needs to flow—there is no top-down in a circle of equals. Squashing any knowledge silos living within teams, departments, or individuals is the first necessary step that will eliminate barriers holding an organization back.
Also Very Interesting: 4 Ways to Foster Internal Communication Through Knowledge Sharing
Providing employees with the tools they need to succeed and grow is equally important. An investment must be made in technology and training that supports employees so they can continue down their growth path, unobstructed. Tools that make knowledge sharing easier for your team will make them more likely to contribute to the organization’s cause, versus skipping participation in favor of other priorities on their plate.
“The more extensive a man’s knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do.” - Benjamin Disraeli
An organization actively engaged in knowledge sharing is ahead of the curve. Spending the energy to create this culture of sharing requires a consistent focus that drives employee engagement and empowerment.
It’s time to embrace a knowledge sharing economy. That starts with taking a good look at how information is accessed, then creating an organizational culture that has the wherewithal to break free from silos and thrive.