Top 5 Knowledge Sharing Best Practices for Employee Engagement

Discover 5 impactful knowledge-sharing best practices to build innovation, boost productivity, & drive employee engagement.

June 12, 2023
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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.

What Are Knowledge Sharing Practices?

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.

The Importance of Sharing Knowledge in the Workplace

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:

  1. Empowerment: Knowledge sharing can lead to a higher sense of competency and job satisfaction, which in turn leads to increased engagement. An employee who understands the nuances of a project due to shared knowledge will feel more confident and engaged in their work.
  1. Shared purpose: It promotes a sense of shared purpose and organizational cohesiveness. For instance, collaborative projects that require knowledge sharing can build stronger team bonds and promote active engagement.
  1. Professional growth: Employees are more likely to progress professionally when they have opportunities to learn from the experiences and insights of their colleagues. This sense of ongoing learning and development can lead to higher work satisfaction and engagement. A mentoring program within the organization, for example, might allow less experienced workers to learn from more experienced employees, boosting their skills and enhancing engagement.
  1. Trust and transparency: Knowledge sharing promotes trust and transparency in an organization. It encourages open communication and collaboration, making employees feel valued and part of the bigger picture.

5 Best Practices for Knowledge Sharing Within Organizations

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.

1. Encourage open communication

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.

2. Cultivate a learning culture

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.

3. Use collaborative tools

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.

4. Recognize knowledge sharing

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.

5. Nurture a safe environment

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.

What Not to Do When Developing Knowledge Sharing with Employees

While creating effective knowledge sharing sessions is vital, it's equally important to be aware of what not to do. 

1. Avoid information overload

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:

  • Segment information into digestible portions.
  • Create manuals that are concise and focused.
  • Implement interactive training sessions for progressive learning.

By breaking down information and facilitating gradual learning, your team can fully absorb and utilize the shared knowledge without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Don’t ignore feedback

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:

  • Encourage feedback after every knowledge-sharing activity.
  • Utilize short surveys to gather thoughts from employees.
  • Adapt future sessions using the collected feedback, showing employees that their views matter.

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.

3. Don’t make assumptions

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:

  • Cater to varied levels of understanding in knowledge-sharing sessions.
  • Offer diverse learning materials such as detailed write-ups for readers, visual aids for visual learners, and hands-on workshops for practical learners.

This inclusive approach will ensure no one is left out, leading to more effective knowledge sharing in the workplace.

4. Don’t neglect follow-ups

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:

  • Make follow-ups a part of the knowledge-sharing process.
  • Schedule regular check-ins to reinforce what was shared.
  • Give employees a chance to show they've understood and can apply what they've learned. This could involve presentations or practical exercises.
  • If any gaps in understanding are identified, you can address them in time and make sure everyone's on the same page.

In this way, knowledge sharing becomes a continuous, evolving process, rather than a one-off event, leading to more effective learning and application.

What are 3 examples of shared practices?

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.

1. Shared documentation

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 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.

2. Peer coaching

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.

3. Interdepartmental collaboration

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.

Sharing Knowledge With Assembly

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.

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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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