Knowledge sharing, especially in an enterprise-level organization, has become less of a “nice-to-have” and more of a “you’re-falling-behind-if-you-don’t.” When you’re not taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience that your employees bring to the table, you’re ignoring some huge opportunities to improve.
The benefits of knowledge sharing are seemingly endless, but we’ve compiled a list of our six favorites for you:
1. Employee engagement
Doesn’t it feel good to be recognized by your employer (or anyone, for that matter!) as an expert in something? When you create a culture in which people are sharing their expertise, others will take notice and want to engage with it. This is especially true for lower-level employees who can learn from people in upper management that they might otherwise not have much interaction with.
Knowledge sharing makes problem-solving reusable. What do we mean by that? Well, why reinvent the wheel when somebody's already discovered the answer? It makes it easy for everyone else to say, “Hey, that’s a great solution. I’m going to try that too.” Think about those how-to videos on YouTube – for any problem that exists, there’s probably a YouTube video for it and that value is tremendous.
Building on the problem-solving point, when people are able to quickly recognize and solve problems, they’re able to make decisions much more quickly. And not just quickly – but they’ll be better informed.
4. Improving delivery to customers
In the words of Richard Branson, "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients." Employees that feel valued, heard, and empowered at their place of work are willing to go the extra mile for their customers and co-workers, which will deliver incredible results for the business.
5. Reducing loss of knowledge and know-how
The reality is that most businesses these days are revolving doors, especially among young people. Most people don't stay with a company for more than three years. So, you want to try to obtain as much information as possible before they leave. You don’t want to get into a situation where someone leaves and an entire section of critical knowledge left with them that nobody else has access to.
6. Stimulating innovation and growth
Opening these doors is a wonderful way for an organization to foster innovation and growth. One those channels are unlocked and the ideas start flowing, you’re going to uncover a wealth of new information and stimulate innovation that may have otherwise been hidden.