How to Build a Positive Workplace Culture with Employee Experience Management
Transform your workplace with employee experience management. Get tips for a positive culture and lower turnover.
Discover 5 impactful knowledge-sharing best practices to build innovation, boost productivity, & drive employee engagement.
Knowledge is not simply power in today's fast-paced corporate environment; it is the lifeblood of organizational success. However, it is not just about acquiring knowledge, but also about efficiently distributing it throughout your team.
As Peter Drucker wisely stated, "Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes." Yet, with 91% of workers saying inadequate communication has a significant impact on their work, most notably on productivity, job satisfaction, and stress levels, it's clear that many organizations are falling short in this critical area.
In this article, we'll explore the best practices for knowledge sharing, and how to avoid common pitfalls that could stunt your company's growth.
Knowledge sharing practices encompass a diverse range of methods, tools, and strategies that facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills, and expertise within an organization.
These practices aim to stimulate innovation, improve problem-solving abilities, and boost overall efficiency by fostering an environment of continuous learning.
Knowledge sharing and employee engagement are intimately intertwined. When employees have access to the knowledge they need to excel at their work and when they feel their expertise and insights are valued, they're likely to be more engaged.
Engaged employees are more likely to be productive, proactive, and contribute towards the organization's success.
Here are other ways knowledge sharing influences employee engagement and how you can leverage it:
According to SHRM, effective communication contributes to organizational success through the enhancement of employee productivity, morale, and engagement. But the question is, “How do you share knowledge effectively?”
Well, here are five ways to build a knowledge sharing environment in your company.
Fostering an open communication culture is one of the most important strategies. Employees feel comfortable sharing their opinions, posing questions, and voicing their views in an environment where communication is open.
Regular standup meetings, for example, may be a fantastic venue for sharing information, exchanging ideas, and discussing challenges. It's important that everyone has a chance to speak in such meetings. This strongly conveys the idea that each team member's input is valued, which promotes further information sharing.
At Google, they've established a tradition called 'TGIF' where once a month, Sundar Pichai, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, along with other top executives, answer questions from employees from around the world. This practice started in the company’s early years as a weekly team update and quickly evolved into a platform for open communication. The result has been an innovative, transparent culture where employees feel heard and are unafraid to ask the leadership tough questions.
This involves nurturing an environment where continuous learning is encouraged and rewarded. Employees should feel they can learn from each other and from their own mistakes. Implementing practices like mentoring programs, where less experienced employees can learn from seasoned colleagues, or lunch and learn sessions where employees share their knowledge on various topics, can be very effective.
Amazon has committed $1.2 billion to provide 300,000 employees with access to education and skills training programs—including college tuition for front-line employees—through 2025 as part of Amazon’s Upskilling 2025 pledge¹.
Technology is essential for knowledge exchange in the digital era. Knowledge sharing tools like Assembly make it easy for employees to share, access, and collaborate on information. They also provide a centralized area for storing common information and making it easily accessible.
Recognition is a potent motivator. Employees are more inclined to share their knowledge when they are recognized for it. This might be as basic as recognizing an employee's effort during a team meeting or as formal as instituting a "knowledge sharer of the month" award. Recognizing knowledge sharing sends a message about its value to the organization, encouraging more employees to participate.
Companies must create a climate where staff members may express their views openly without worrying about rejection or retaliation.
A psychologically secure atmosphere promotes risk-taking and creativity, both of which are essential for innovation and development. Conducting psychological safety seminars and training sessions and constantly treating views and inquiries with respect and openness are two approaches to promote such an atmosphere.
For instance, Pixar organizes an annual event called "Notes Day" where staff members from all levels of the company are encouraged to express their genuine opinions and suggestions. Managers are not permitted to attend this event, allowing employees more freedom. This has improved Pixar's operations, but more importantly, it has strengthened a psychologically healthy work environment that encourages innovation and creativity.
In all of these strategies, it's vital to lead by example. Leaders who actively engage in knowledge sharing set a precedent for their teams, creating a culture where knowledge sharing is viewed as a standard practice rather than an additional task.
While creating effective knowledge sharing sessions is vital, it's equally important to be aware of what not to do.
In the era of digital and easily accessible information, it's easy to flood employees with too much data. Imagine if a new software is introduced at work, and everyone is handed a 200-page guide without any help—it'll be overwhelming. The sheer volume would discourage anyone, leading to confusion and disengagement.
To tackle this, it’s important to:
By breaking down information and facilitating gradual learning, your team can fully absorb and utilize the shared knowledge without feeling overwhelmed.
Feedback is a powerful tool in the knowledge sharing process, but it's often not given the attention it deserves. Suppose a company regularly hosts training sessions without soliciting feedback from employees. This could lead to repeated mistakes in training and can make employees feel undervalued. To avoid this:
Employees will feel more appreciated and participate in a knowledge-sharing atmosphere if there are open channels of communication and active adaption of employee feedback.
Assuming everyone is on the same page can lead to a significant knowledge gap. For example, in a software development team, some members might be more versed in a particular programming language than others. If a training session assumes everyone has advanced knowledge of this language, it could leave some team members behind. Here's what to do instead:
This inclusive approach will ensure no one is left out, leading to more effective knowledge sharing in the workplace.
Often, organizations share valuable knowledge, but then forget about it, moving on to the next topic without revisiting what was shared. Imagine a training session on a new data analysis tool. After the session, everyone gets back to work, and no one really checks if the new tool is being used correctly or effectively.
Addressing this issue can lead to better retention and application of knowledge. Instead of abandoning employees to their own devices, here's a more effective approach:
In this way, knowledge sharing becomes a continuous, evolving process, rather than a one-off event, leading to more effective learning and application.
While it's crucial to avoid these frequent knowledge sharing problems, studying how successful firms employ knowledge sharing techniques may offer insightful information. We’ll take a look at three particular strategies used by well-known businesses to successfully foster a culture of information sharing.
One of the easiest ways to share knowledge within an organization is through shared documentation. This involves creating a central repository where all essential documents, guides, manuals, and other types of important information are stored and can be easily accessed by everyone in the organization. This promotes transparency and ensures that everyone has access to the same knowledge base.
A business.com study of entrepreneurs and company executives found that Microsoft and Google, both of which provide document storage, provide some of the greatest and most popular repository tools for businesses.
Peer coaching is a practice that involves employees teaching and learning from each other. It promotes a collaborative learning environment and allows for more personalized knowledge sharing. By exchanging experiences and skills, employees can improve their proficiency and gain insights that they may not have obtained through formal training.
The reverse mentorship program at Deloitte is an example of how peer coaching can help disseminate knowledge throughout a business. The initiative matches younger employees with senior executives to exchange experiences and offer fresh perspectives on how to meet ethnicity and gender targets. The program now has 122 Millennials globally mentoring 200 partners and directors.
Collaboration between departments has a huge positive impact on how much information is shared inside a company. When employees are permitted to share their work with other departments, they develop an awareness of the different areas in the organization and become better at giving feedback on each other's work.
Pixar Animation Studios attributes much of its success to interdepartmental collaboration. The company’s “Braintrust” meetings bring together individuals from different departments to critique ongoing projects. This collaborative approach fosters a culture of learning and knowledge sharing, which has been integral to Pixar's ability to consistently produce high-quality films.
From the instances above, it's obvious that embracing practices like shared documentation, peer coaching, and interdepartmental collaboration can shape the very heart of an organization, encouraging innovation, teamwork, and ultimately, success.
Knowledge sharing is more than a buzzword; it's an essential part of modern, prosperous organizations. It encourages creativity, cultivates a sense of community, and improves operational efficiency. You can make knowledge sharing a natural part of your organization's workflow by building a culture that values learning and sharing, utilizing technology, providing growth opportunities, and encouraging cross-departmental cooperation.
Assembly provides a streamlined knowledge sharing platform that promotes collaboration, recognition, and knowledge sharing. It fosters a culture of continuous learning and engagement by creating a hub where employees can share, access, and learn from shared information.
Ready to improve knowledge sharing in your company? Explore how Assembly can help you build your customized knowledge sharing culture.
Transform your workplace with employee experience management. Get tips for a positive culture and lower turnover.