Research by Forrester's Employee Experience (EX) Index shows that giving employees the tools, learning resources and information they need is key to making them feel involved and committed to their work. When employees are engaged, customers are 10% happier, and sales go up by 20%.
It’s obvious that knowledge-sharing culture is vital for innovation, cooperation, and the avoidance of repeat errors. However, promoting a serious knowledge sharing activity and culture requires clear goals and objectives that guide and inspire your organization. This guide will help you understand the significance of knowledge sharing and provide practical strategies for setting impactful, knowledge sharing culture, activity and knowledge transfer goals.
What is Knowledge Sharing Within a Company?
Knowledge Sharing within a company is the process of transferring and disseminating valuable information and expertise among employees or among other departments, within an organization.
It involves exchanging insights, and encourage employees to share knowledge, best practices, lessons learned, and innovative ideas to enhance collaboration, problem-solving, learning, and overall organizational performance.
Overall, an organization that promotes knowledge sharing is essential for growth and success, as it leverages on the collective intelligence of other team members and tacit knowledge of the staff. It also enables continuous innovation and improvement while improving the knowledge-sharing culture.
Knowledge sharing can occur through various means of social interaction, including:
Formal knowledge-sharing tools and training programs: Webinars and classes, both virtual and in-person.
Documentation and knowledge-sharing platforms: Employees can be encouraged to document their expertise, experiences, and lessons learned in the form of manuals, guides, or knowledge sharing questionnaire.
Internal communication channels: Companies can utilize internal communication tools like emails, chat platforms, or social networks to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Mentorship and Coaching: Through programs like these, senior employees can share their experiences and guide newer employees.
Communities of practice: Creating spaces or groups where individuals with similar interests or roles can exchange knowledge, collaborate, and learn from each other.
Knowledge sharing is a fundamental part of your company's continued success. And like every other growth strategy, you shouldn't blindly jump in. You need to have clear goals to guide you and help you evaluate how well you're doing.
The Significance of Goals and Objectives in Knowledge Sharing
Setting clear goals and objectives is a crucial step towards effective information accessible knowledge sharing culture. They give direction, motivate the various team members, encourage knowledge sharing and shape the overall vision for knowledge and information sharing within an organization. But what exactly are these goals and objectives? Let's start with understanding what goals are.
What are Goals?
These are broad, long-term aspirations that you want to achieve. They are overarching statements that define the desired vision of the organization. Goals are often qualitative in nature and set the foundation for defining objectives.
If a company wants to improve communication within teams to enhance productivity, its goal could be:
"Enhance free flow of internal communication to foster employee engagement and a collaborative team work environment."
If a firm wants to minimize errors from recurring in projects, the goal could be:
"Reduce project errors by fostering more collaboration efforts and a culture of using more of knowledge sharing techniques, tools and techniques.”
What are Objectives?
These are specific, measurable, and time-bound targets that help companies achieve their goals. They are more focused and concrete than goals. They outline the steps needed to reach the desired outcome. Objectives are often derived from goals and serve as checkpoints along the way.
If the same company from the first goal example aims to track the improvement in team communication, an objective could be:
"Increase the use of sharing in the workplace and internal communication platform by 50% over the next quarter."
For the firm in the second goal example that wants to cut down on recurring errors, an objective might be:
"Decrease project rework by 30% within six months."
Goals and objectives are both important components of strategic planning and provide a clear direction for many organizations. While they are related, there are differences between the two.
The Difference Between Goals and Objectives.
Objectives are designed to support and contribute to the achievement of goals. While goals provide a broader vision, objectives break down that vision into actionable targets.
They are often used interchangeably, but they are different.
Company goals are typically set by top-level management and can include objectives related to revenue growth, market expansion, or customer satisfaction.
Employees may also have their own personal goals aligning with company goals, such as career advancement or skill development. Employees' objectives might include composting a certain number of projects, acquiring a new certification, or implementing an improved process. These employee engagement goals might differ slightly from the company's, but they should work together in the long run. You can do this with existing employees with the help of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).
What are OKRs?
It is a goal-setting framework. OKRs provide a clear and structured way to set and track objectives and their outcomes. The "Objective" part of OKR is a clearly defined objective, and the "Key Results" are specific, measurable steps to achieve the objective. OKRs are the baby steps of the baby steps.
For instance, OKRs for our first objective above would be:
Objective: Increase the use of the sharing in the workplace and internal communication platform by 50% over the next quarter.
Key results for this objective:
Measure and establish the current usage level of the internal communication platform at the start of the quarter.
Implement weekly workshops for employees over the quarter to better understand the benefits and functionality of the platform.
Increase the number of posts or messages on the platform by 50% by the end of the quarter.
Increase the number of active users on the platform by 50% by the end of the quarter.
When applied to business processes and knowledge sharing, OKRs can help management and employees align on what knowledge needs to be shared, how it will be shared, and how to measure the effectiveness of the whole knowledge management and knowledge sharing strategy together. This ensures everyone is working towards the same goal and understands the steps to get there.
Setting clear and effective knowledge sharing systems, organizational goals and objectives in a company's culture offers a variety of advantages. Some of them include:
Clear direction: Knowledge sharing goals provide clarity and direction to employees. When there are clear expectations in terms of what needs to be shared, how it should be shared, and who should be involved, employees are more likely to actively participate in knowledge-sharing activities.
Better prioritization: Setting goals also helps in prioritizing knowledge-sharing activities based on business priorities. For example, if a company wants to enhance customer service by improving product knowledge among its sales team members, specific goals can be set around developing training programs or implementing platforms that facilitate easy access to relevant product information.
Clearer vision: Setting knowledge sharing goals and objectives ensures that employees understand their role in promoting a culture of knowledge sharing. This offers a sense of direction, helping to focus their efforts.
Measurable progress: Goals and objectives make knowledge sharing efforts quantifiable. Whether it's tracking the number of active participants or the volume of shared content, organizations can assess their progress and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Enhanced engagement: Specific, achievable objectives make it easier to reach knowledge sharing goals. This can boost employee involvement and encourage active participation in knowledge sharing practices.
Reduced knowledge hoarding: A clear focus on knowledge sharing, backed by specific objectives, discourages your employees from withholding information. This helps ensure a free exchange of ideas and insights within the organization.
Informed decision-making: With measurable objectives, companies can gather valuable data on their knowledge sharing initiatives. This information can guide leaders in refining their strategies and identifying areas for improvement.
Stimulating innovation: Knowledge sharing objectives can spark creativity and problem-solving. Access to a wide range of information can equip employees with the insights they need to develop new ideas, products, or processes.
Lastly, by establishing goals and objectives related to the knowledge sharing culture within a company, organizations can further knowledge culture and reinforce its importance as a core value. When employees see that management is dedicated to creating an environment where learning from one another is rewarded through goal attainment, they are more likely to embrace this mindset and encourage knowledge for themselves.
How to Set Knowledge Sharing Goals and Objectives
Setting knowledge sharing goals and objectives is a continuous process that plays a vital role in building your own knowledge management culture in a collaborative environment. In this section, we'll walk you through a practical approach to this process, starting with defining your vision for successful knowledge sharing culture, creating objectives, establishing OKRs, and tracking progress effectively:
Identify your vision: What does a successful knowledge-sharing environment look like for your organization? What do you want to achieve? For example, you might envision a workplace where all employees are actively using repositories, sharing, and accessing the collective company knowledge. Establishing this vision will help you understand the direction you want to take.
Understand your current state: Conduct an assessment of your existing knowledge sharing processes. Are they effective? What can be improved? For instance, you might find that your current communication platform is not user-friendly, causing a low rate of usage among employees.
Set your goals: Once you've identified your vision and understand your current state, it's time to set your knowledge sharing goal. Knowledge sharing goals examples could be something general like "Improve organization-wide knowledge sharing and collaboration," or “Improve access to company knowledge resources.”
Define your objectives: Break down each goal into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives. For the first goal mentioned above, a knowledge sharing objective could be "Increase the use of our knowledge sharing platform by 50% in the next quarter."
Establish your OKRs: Translate your objectives into Key Results. For the previous objective, key results could be "Implement a user training program for the knowledge sharing platform" and "Increase the number of active users on the platform by 50%."
Implement and track progress: Once you've set your goals, objectives, and OKRs, it's time to put them into action. Regularly review your progress, making adjustments as necessary to stay on track.
Review and revise: Goals and objectives should be dynamic, not static. As your organization and its needs evolve, your goals should too. This may involve revising your goals every quarter or year to ensure they align with your organization's evolving needs and priorities.
Use technology: Technology can play a key role in managing and amplifying your efforts. Knowledge sharing tools can help you establish, adjust, share, and keep an eye on your goals and objectives with ease.
One tool to consider is Assembly, a full knowledge management and knowledge sharing tool that is uniquely designed to manage team meetings and track goals and objectives.
Some of its notable features are:
Engagement measurement: The platform offers analytics to measure the engagement and impact of knowledge sharing efforts. Users can track metrics, such as the number of views, comments, or ratings on their shared resources.
Goal tracking: Assembly enables users to set specific goals for knowledge sharing activities and track their progress. Users can define their objectives, monitor their achievements, and receive notifications and reminders to stay on track.
Resource sharing: Assembly facilitates the sharing of resources such as documents, presentations, or videos. Employees can upload and access relevant materials, enduring that knowledge is easily accessible and readily available across the organization.
Collaboration and discussing boards: The platform provides collaboration features, allowing users to create discussion boards and engage in conversations with other employees. This promotes objectives of knowledge sharing and enables employees to seek information and insights from their peers.
Recognition and rewards: A standout feature of Assembly is its ability to support the development of recognition programs. In a knowledge sharing context, this means that employees who actively share their knowledge, contribute to discussions, or use shared resources can be acknowledged and rewarded. This not only encourages participation in knowledge sharing but also builds a positive workplace culture where effort is noticed and appreciated.
Maximize the Impact of Your Knowledge Sharing
Knowledge sharing gives you a competitive edge, empowers, and helps you make better business decisions. However, to fully leverage the benefits of sharing knowledge, you need to set goals and objectives. Creating such a plan isn't always easy, but it's certainly possible with dedication, patience, and the right tools — like Assembly.
Explore how Assembly can empower your organization's own internal knowledge base by using sharing knowledge and tools. Book a demo here!