When it comes to the opportunities presented by knowledge sharing, they can be easy to ignore. After all, your teams naturally communicate every day, so why would they need a dedicated resource to help them record and exchange information?
It’s a good question, but when you think about most daily work engagements, more often than not, they’re focused on nothing but getting the job done. Sharing potentially useful knowledge amongst the teams is typically not a priority unless that information is required.
This often leads to situations where your employees are all performing their own roles, without any appreciation for what’s going on around them.
While this approach can certainly deliver and satisfy, it’s definitely not the best way to do it – and your competitors are quickly coming to this conclusion. Every day, more and more companies are investing in knowledge sharing technologies to improve the way they operate, perform and work together. By enhancing internal collaboration, they’re yielding significant advantages; increased efficiency, wider skill diversity and a more effective and proactive workforce who can do more with less. And all this is enabled by a knowledge sharing system. It’s amazing how something so simple can facilitate such fantastic benefits, but you know what they say, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.
Why Knowledge Sharing?
In a nutshell, knowledge sharing is simple, it takes the complicated stuff locked inside your employee’s heads and makes it available to your workforce to maximize their capabilities and the value your business can derive from it. This ensures the most essential information in your business is secure.
Without knowledge sharing in your business, you’re potentially exposed to significant unnecessary risk that has the power to fundamentality undermine your businesses’ capabilities and stability. It only takes a single key employee to leave or retire to cause internal challenges, particularly in companies that run legacy or custom technology, processes and solutions. Beyond the issue of losing the information, replacing it is also extremely difficult.
Any business that works with unusual processes, information or technology is likely to struggle to find the right people who have the skills they need, and those that do are often in high demand and expensive. With a knowledge sharing system, you avoid this issue by capturing the critical information your key employees have, ensuring that your business isn’t totally reliant on their presence. Once it’s secure within the system, it can be imparted to the right people as and when required.
The reality is, the more specialist your business is, the more vulnerable it is to losing valuable knowledge and the more a knowledge sharing system can do for you. Whether the information is industry-specific, technology-specific, or even more commonly business-specific, you need to protect it for the sake of your businesses’ future success.
The Information You Need to Protect
Your business relies on multiple categories of information to effectively deliver your product/service offering, industry-specific data, technology-specific data and business-specific data all play a major role, but just why are they so difficult to replace?
This is information that is largely unique to the industry you operate in. It’s the data that the majority who’ve worked in the industry know and appreciate. With this in-hand, you can recruit from across sectors, knowing you’re in a position to quickly upskill individuals in what they need to know. Without it, the pool of workers you can hire becomes much smaller.
Recording industry-specific information is particularly important if you’re working in a niche field. With less workers in the market, it’s critical you have the ability to find staff with the skills you need and then give them the key information that will help them make the transition to your focused area.
While industry information can typically be obtained from industry reports and other sources, these are often expensive. The most economical way to manage industry-specific data in your business is to extract it from those who know, and ensure it’s stored and allows for easy access to your employees.
Technology-specific information is critical to the everyday success of your business. Chances are, you use a combination of technologies to deliver value to your customers, and it’s likely these are not running on an out-of-the-box setup. Most modern tech stacks are customized to accommodate for individual company requirements, legacy infrastructure and other factors.
This means the way the technology works is slightly different and depending on the level of customization and complexity in play, may even be unique to your business. In this instance, that means the way it operates and works together is likely to be unique too. As such, it’s critical the rules, processes, challenges and benefits of working with the tech stack are all clear.
Without this information, new hires will struggle to understand the systems you use, why things are the way they are and how they can be optimized. This has the potential to undermine their understanding, appreciation and belief in the way you do things and makes it that much harder to onboard them successfully.
This is the most valuable information of all as it is specific to your company, it cannot be found elsewhere, and as such, once it’s gone, it can be exceptionally difficult to replace. Depending on its complexity, upskilling internally may be an option, but without a view on how things were done before, it’s hard to really know what the replacement needs to know the job well.
Business-specific information impacts all employees daily. In every organization there is information that only those in the business will know. This may be something small like, how a particular process works in combination with others, all the way up to something critical like company secrets. If this information is locked in only 1 or 2 individuals heads, then there is a genuine risk of losing it altogether.
Without this information, your business is at risk of losing the critical information that helps you succeed in the market. Business-specific data has to be imparted onto all new arrivals and so it’s critical that it’s easily available to the right people, at the right time and the right place. Knowledge sharing technology enables all this and more.
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Why you can’t ignore the benefits of knowledge sharing technology summary:
- Protect key information that powers your business
- Recognise the true value of information in your business
- Enhance the upskill opportunities available to your employees
- Minimize the risk of losing key information that defines your business
With a knowledge sharing system in your business, you can ensure the information that powers your everyday success is recorded and accessible to those who can yield the greatest value. This not only allows your business to reach new heights by maximizing the potential you derive from the data, but also helps to secure the critical information you need to survive.
Also Read: The Complete Guide to Knowledge Management
By proactively recording and protecting this information, you ensure your businesses’ key competencies are secure and available for long-term use. This is critical to maintaining success and building a sustainable business model. Remember, data lies at the heart of your business and it’s worth protecting.