A study in 2018 found that organisations which promote a culture of collaborative working are 5 times more likely to be high performers. A key component of this principle is the sharing of knowledge in the workplace. It gives your staff a voice, which is absolutely essential for improving their productivity. In order to achieve this culture, you’ll need to have a good understanding of knowledge sharing techniques that work. Here are five suggestions that you can implement in your organisation via the digital workplace to see quick improvements.
Minimising barriers to effective communication
According to Unum, ineffective communication strategies cost UK businesses as much as £2.7 billion per year. Communication is the beating heart of every organisation, and yours is no exception. Unfortunately, sometimes this is for the wrong kinds of reasons. It is predicted that 50% of the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020, and although this can be beneficial in many ways, it does present new challenges for effective communication between members in multiple locations.
Email is still useful, but essential information can slip through the cracks or get lost in translation. On the other hand, video/teleconferencing can be an intimidating prospect for some, who may struggle to get their point across.
The best option available to modern companies is intranet/extranet cloud collaboration software. With features like forums and blogs, colleagues can easily share knowledge and progress in a single location. And because the software is accessible at all times, from all locations, remote workers never need to miss out on important information.
Intranet software that contains collaboration features is perfect for staff to share knowledge in a single location
Encouraging inter-departmental collaboration
One key element of knowledge sharing that organisations often miss is getting a different perspective. In some circumstances, this might mean consulting external partners, but you should be looking much closer to home first – other departments in the organisation.
You might be concerned this could result in a clash of cultures. In reality, colleagues are more than capable of resolving their own problems every day, particularly when communication is good. If you’re facing issues with something, wouldn’t it be nice to know if someone in another department had already found a solution? Furthermore, as a leader, you may be interested to know that understanding different perspectives is a key leadership skill that will help with your own personal development.
Improving employee engagement
In the majority of cases, knowledge sharing within an organisation occurs during stuffy, unpleasant office meetings. This is a little counterproductive, as most of us know how unstimulating and off-putting they are. The average British person has an attention span of 14 minutes, so it will be easy for the most valuable information in a meeting to just go by the wayside.
Meetings contribute to a lack of engagement in the workplace. In fact, it has been found that only 13% of employees around the world who work for an organisation actually engage with their work. This is a trend that must be reversed, which means opening your mind to new ideas. Motivating employees to engage even just a little more will help them to share ideas within the organisation. Some other benefits of increased engagement are:
- Closer collaboration
- Increased productivity
- Better staff retention
- Increased revenue
Improving the use of time
Making better use of one’s time is easier said than done. You and your colleagues have busy workday schedules and couldn’t imagine squeezing anything else into them. Research has shown that almost half of UK workers spend most of their time feeling buried under an insurmountable workload, while 85% say that work adds stress to their lives.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of knowledge sharing, so here are some tips on how to incorporate it into your team’s daily routine:
- Organise tasks – pencil in chunks of time for certain tasks to ensure they get done
- Time management – don’t spend too long on unimportant tasks
- Plan your days
- Stop procrastinating – this provides more time for important tasks
Choose the right platform for knowledge sharing
Encouraging knowledge sharing is only half the battle – you need to provide the best platform for everyone to share their expertise. You need software that can be accessed anytime and anywhere. It needs to be user-friendly and secure, so people can share their knowledge in strict confidence. Online collaboration software ticks all the boxes.