Do you get upset if a colleague criticizes you or gives you negative feedback? And do you forget to use those experiences that others have made when you are solving your work tasks? If yes, then it is a good idea to look closer at how knowledge sharing can become an integrated part of your company – so you can become a learning organization that at the same time is more effective.
What is knowledge sharing?
Maybe you think that you already have a lot of knowledge sharing internally in your organization. What about all the information like reports, product knowledge, rules, document, and procedures you have available? But the case is that this available information often only contains 10 % of the knowledge sharing.
80-90 % of the knowledge sharing is the more unconscious “silent” knowledge. It includes the individual person’s experiences, the mistakes we previously have made, together with competencies, professional methods, knowledge, and learning.
That’s how you open up for knowledge sharing
It strengthens the business when you share the knowledge and the experiences that already are available among the employees. Nonetheless, knowledge sharing is a more complex size than you think and that’s why it requires management and control.
To begin with, it can be a good idea to develop mentor programs internally in the organization. In that way, new and less experienced employees develop and become more effective by getting advice and counseling from experienced colleagues. At the same time, the mentors often gain a lot from the mentor programs, as they become better at expressing in words the knowledge they already have available. In addition, it can be very inspiring and rewarding to participate in that a colleague grows and develops.
In order to move a step closer to become a learning organization, development must be a deep-rooted practice in the company.
A supporting learning environment
Do you bluntly tell your opinion to a colleague? Or are you more hesitant? The premise for creating a supportive environment is namely that everyone should feel safe to express their thoughts and opinions (Peakon, 2018).
A supporting learning environment has room for the stupid mistakes and that you can share your mistakes, so others don’t make them as well – without being cast a sidelong glance. In that way, you can attempt an alternative solution the next time, instead of the usual one that doesn’t work anyway.
Also, remember to evaluate the individual projects: what when well and what when less well? And then the managers need to engage themselves, be open in the debate, ask for new perspectives, and invite people to give criticism and feedback
Digital knowledge sharing
Share your knowledge and transform it into learning modules in a Learning Management System (LMS). In that way, you can make your knowledge easily accessible in a form for an internal wiki for both current and future employees.
Alternatively, you can announce through your communication channel if you give an oral presentation where you share knowledge for a specific employee group. Who knows – with an open invitation like that, maybe another department could also benefit from the new knowledge?
Examples from Learningbank:
In Learningbank, we often work across professional groups and departments. Maybe you can recognize how you also already work across – or perhaps you can be inspired? You have her a couple of examples of knowledge sharing and sharing of competencies across our organization:
1. One of our implementation consultants has supplied voice to a digital learning module for a client
2. Marketing has helped with voice-over script and setup of audio equipment to recording
3. Marketing has proofread content to the digital learning modules
4. LEA (the Learning department) has helped with facilitating workshops about the platform
5. HR and a project manager have been used to help test new buttons on the platform, as they understand the user’s way of thinking
- Start a mentor system
- Make a safe learning environment
- Share the mistakes, so others don’t make them
- Evaluate the projects
- Be open for criticism and feedback as a manager
- Share your knowledge digitally in an LMS
- Use your competencies across departments