It’s not easy to create an office environment where knowledge sharing is a common practice.
One of the most common barriers to sharing knowledge is fear of rejection. If employees think that their ideas will be rejected, they are far less likely to share them. Another problem that inhibits knowledge sharing at the workplace is the hierarchical structure prevalent in many office environments.
Now that you know what the two biggest obstacles to knowledge sharing are, here are 7 tips to help you encourage employees to share their knowledge with others and build an open environment for knowledge exchange that will drive innovation.
1. Learn what’s their passion
It is common for employees to have their most and least favorite parts of a job. There may be areas about which they feel especially passionate and excited. Identify these areas and find a way for employees to spend more of their energy there. You will be rewarded with a higher quality of work and potential pathways for knowledge sharing. For example, a successful social media manager may be able to share their methodology that will benefit other areas of your marketing department.
2. Provide knowledge sharing tools
Knowledge sharing is about creating a specific culture that encourages open communication, and you’ll need specific tools to support that.
For example, you can use a social intranet such as Igloo or Honey that will serve as a platform where employees communicate and exchange information. Slack is an interesting option as well. Even though it doesn’t describe its services as intranet, it contains communication and file-sharing features that are similar to good intranet products.
You can also use a Kanban tool to help employees share knowledge about their workflow process. Kanban is a type of a workflow system that helps to organize tasks into buckets that represent different stages of a process (or example “prototype”, “in development”, or “completed”). Kanbanize and Atlassian offer Kanban tools that were created with organizational needs in mind. Helping employees see what their colleagues are working on will increase transparency in your team but also give your employees greater knowledge about the project’s progress and needs.
Consider tools that will help your team create a knowledge base that can be shared with everyone at the company. A note-taking tool like Evernote is a good investment – when inspiration strikes your employees on the go, they can simply jot down a note in their Evernote app and share it with their coworkers instantly.