Knowledge Sharing as a Competitive Advantage: How Organizations Benefit

One of the most underrated yet powerful tools at an organization's disposal is knowledge sharing. But what is it exactly?

August 14, 2023
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Knowledge sharing, often an undervalued but potent asset within organizations, involves the active distribution of information, skills, and expertise among members of an organization.

At its core, knowledge sharing seeks to bridge the gap between information silos. It's the medium through which Joe from Marketing collaborates with the Product team, offering insights on customer behavior. Or when Linda from IT holds a workshop, introducing the team to a new software tool.

This act of sharing doesn't just benefit the direct recipients — it lays the groundwork for three organizational pillars: enhanced collaboration, spurred innovation, and the cultivation of a learning-centric culture. In other words, knowledge sharing isn't just about distributing information; it's about setting the stage for collective growth.

Knowledge Sharing and Organizational Growth

Consider for a moment the combined experience and insights of your team. When this collective intelligence is tapped into and shared, the resulting synergy can outpace individual efforts.

A case in point is Google's '20% time' policy, where employees dedicate a fraction of their time to side projects unrelated to their primary roles. This environment has birthed groundbreaking tools like Gmail and AdSense. The lesson? Shared knowledge can lead to unforeseen innovations.

Disseminated knowledge has a cascading effect that touches multiple facets of an organization:

  • Informed Decision-making: teams, armed with a broader data set, can make decisions that are both timely and robust. It's the difference between navigating with a clear map versus moving ahead with partial information.
  • Augmented Problem-solving: diverse perspectives, rooted in varied experiences, converge to address challenges. This collective approach not only speeds up resolution but also introduces innovative solutions.
  • Elevated Customer Satisfaction: armed with insights on customer feedback and preferences, teams can tailor their offerings. This ensures that every interaction a customer has with your organization is positive and productive.

It's clear that knowledge sharing is more than just a business strategy — it's the bedrock of organizational evolution, transforming individual insights into collective milestones.

The Impact of Knowledge Sharing on Employee Engagement

The significance of employee engagement is a mainstay in the modern, rapidly evolving corporate ecosystem. When we talk about enhancing engagement, knowledge sharing is often the unsung hero. Let's delve into its multifaceted impact on employees.

Promoting a Sense of Belonging and Involvement

At a foundational level, when employees share and receive knowledge, they experience a heightened sense of value and involvement. It's a psychological win. Feeling like a key piece in the organizational puzzle instills a profound sense of purpose.

Take Salesforce, for instance. Their platform, “Trailhead”, isn't just an online learning tool; it's a collaborative hub. Employees aren't just consumers of knowledge — they're contributors, too. This active participation in content creation fosters a genuine sense of community and belonging.

Fostering Collaboration and Teamwork

Collaboration is the orchestrated effort of individuals to achieve a common goal, while teamwork is the synergistic working relationship of these individuals. The two go hand in hand.

Knowledge sharing elevates collaboration. When everyone's on the same page, understanding project intricacies, and harnessing shared insights, collaboration becomes seamless.

The upside of team knowledge sharing is simple: shared knowledge leads to reduced redundancy, fewer mistakes, and a collective push towards innovative solutions. The result? Projects that not only meet targets but consistently exceed expectations.

Encouraging Open Communication and Idea Sharing

Transparent communication is the bedrock of knowledge dissemination. When channels of communication are open and transparent, the flow of knowledge is uninhibited, fostering an environment where ideas are freely exchanged.

Knowledge transfer that encourages idea sharing has far-reaching benefits. It promotes a sense of ownership, breeds innovative solutions, and establishes a proactive problem-solving culture.

However, it's worth noting that promoting open communication isn't without challenges. Fears of idea theft, information overload, or miscommunication can be deterrents. Addressing these concerns is essential to truly harness the power of open communication.

Empowering Employees to Contribute

When employees have access to shared knowledge, it often lights a spark. This spark can lead to new projects, innovations, or improvements born from an individual's unique interpretation of shared insights.

3M’s Technical Forum is a testament to this. This annual event offers scientists a platform to showcase their research. By presenting findings to peers, not only is knowledge shared, but it also fosters a robust culture of innovation and mutual respect.

Boosting Job Satisfaction and Motivation

There's a direct correlation between the act of knowledge sharing and workplace satisfaction. When employees are in the know, when they feel involved and equipped, their job satisfaction soars. This translates to increased motivation, reduced turnover, and an overall positive workplace atmosphere.

Knowledge sharing isn't just a tool; it's a culture. An organization that embraces this culture is one that thrives on collaboration, innovation, and employee satisfaction. The benefits are profound, encompassing every facet of the corporate experience.

Knowledge Sharing and Employee Retention

One of the unsolved mysteries in the corporate world is how to retain top talent? Organizations often wrestle with keeping their best and brightest. Enter knowledge sharing — this seemingly simple act has profound implications on employee retention.

Continuous Learning Opportunities

Knowledge sharing isn't just about disseminating what's known; it's about fostering an environment of constant growth. Platforms or sessions dedicated to this cause ensure employees don't stagnate. They offer avenues for continuous professional development, ensuring talents remain sharp and relevant.

Cultivating a Supportive Work Environment

Managers and team leads play a pivotal role here. Their attitude towards knowledge sharing can set the tone for the entire team. When they actively encourage and participate in it, they lay the foundation for a supportive work environment where individuals feel free to share, learn, and grow.

Recognizing and Valuing Employee Contributions

For knowledge sharing to truly take root, recognition is key. Organizations can incentivize the process through awards, recognitions, or even simple shout-outs. When employees see that their contributions are valued, they're more inclined to share, creating a virtuous cycle of knowledge dissemination.

Enhancing Career Growth and Advancement Opportunities

Involvement in knowledge-sharing initiatives can propel employees up the career ladder. As they contribute and learn, they become invaluable assets to the organization, often finding themselves on a fast track to higher roles.

Goldman Sachs exemplifies this. By offering employees the chance to join Goldman Sachs University, they're not just facilitating knowledge sharing. They're actively setting the stage for these individuals to grow in their careers, showcasing a direct link between shared knowledge and career advancement.

Enhancing Job Satisfaction and Work-life Balance

There's a noteworthy correlation between knowledge sharing and an improved work-life balance. When employees have access to resources, insights, and tools, they often find their tasks more manageable, reducing undue stress and fostering job satisfaction.

SAS Institute stands out in this regard. Their commitment to a balanced work environment is commendable: by providing resources for continuous learning, they ensure their employees not only grow in their roles but also maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.

In a nutshell, knowledge sharing does more than just distribute information: it shapes corporate cultures, fuels individual growth, and is thus an essential tool in retaining top talent. It’s an investment that offers returns in the form of a motivated, satisfied, and loyal workforce.

Knowledge Sharing and Talent Acquisition

Organizations are always looking for that edge in the race to acquire top talent. Beyond competitive packages and enticing perks, remote work options, staff scheduling software, and dedicated enterprise platforms, knowledge sharing has emerged as a key player — a magnet, pulling in professionals eager to grow, collaborate, and innovate.

At Spotify, they've added a twist to the traditional team structure. The “Guilds” and “Chapters” are structured groups that allow for seamless knowledge sharing across development teams. The outcome? Products that resonate with users and continuously push boundaries, all thanks to an environment that prioritizes collective learning.

Attracting Top Talent

Top-tier professionals aren't just looking for a paycheck. They're on the hunt for opportunities to grow and evolve. Organizations with a clear commitment to knowledge sharing become hotspots for these high-caliber individuals. The promise of continuous learning and development is simply irresistible.

Demonstrating Commitment to Growth

Prospective employees aren't just looking at the role they're being offered. They're gauging the organization as a whole. When they see an emphasis on knowledge sharing, they perceive an entity committed to growth — both of its employees and the organization. This commitment is often a deal-sealer.

Showcasing a Collaborative and Innovative Culture

Many groundbreaking projects or products trace their roots back to a casual conversation or a formal knowledge-sharing session. When potential recruits see these innovations, they're not just seeing a product; they're seeing a culture. A culture that collaborates, shares, and innovates.

Enhancing Organizational Reputation

Being known as a hub for knowledge sharing can massively boost an organization's brand value. It sends out a signal to the industry that this is a place where ideas flourish, where growth is continuous, and where every member's insights are valued.

Increasing Retention of High-performing Employees

Organizations with active knowledge-sharing practices often see a dip in their attrition rates. The reason? High-performers, who are constantly seeking growth and challenge, find fertile ground in these organizations, making them less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Knowledge sharing is like a beacon attracting talent from afar. Organizations that have embedded knowledge sharing into their DNA don't just retain their best; they attract the industry's best. It's a win-win, enhancing both the workforce and the organizational output.

The Takeaways

It’s not just a corporate buzzword or a fleeting trend; knowledge sharing is the linchpin of modern, successful organizations. From fostering collaboration to boosting employee engagement, from retaining top talent to attracting the industry's best, knowledge sharing serves as the foundation for numerous positive outcomes.

Understand the importance of knowledge sharing, actively weave it into the fabric of your organization, and make it a daily practice, a culture, a norm.

Let this be a catalyst for change. Let's shift from a mindset of knowledge as power to one where sharing knowledge is the true power. It's an investment in the future, one that promises exponential returns in the form of innovation, growth, and success. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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