How to create a culture of knowledge sharing in the company

You will save on external experts, increase the effectiveness of employee training and be able to grow your business faster. obmena-znanijami-9a8c616.jpg” alt=”How to create a culture of knowledge sharing in a company” />

Anastasia Borovskaya Director of the Russian School of Management.

Employee training has long been an important part of personnel management. Companies send people to advanced training courses, invite third-party consultants, develop corporate training programs. But at the same time, many people forget about internal training and the creation of a corporate culture of knowledge sharing. And they do it in vain.

What hinders the creation of a culture of knowledge sharing in the company

The reasons may be different.

1. Employees do not know where to get information

Sometimes people do not even suspect that colleagues from other departments may have useful information for them. This happens especially often in remote teams. People work in small groups within their projects and rarely cross paths with other employees.

The best solution in this case is to create a single knowledge base where everyone can draw information. It can be created on the corporate portal, internal server, or in any other convenient and accessible place. It is important that all team members know the path to it, and the data inside is structured.

2. Employees do not understand the value of information

It seems to many that they perform elementary actions that should be clear to everyone without exception. And they believe that the information and skills they possess are of no particular importance.

This is clearly seen when newcomers come to the company: experienced employees often do not tell about all the intricacies of the work. And this is only because they do not think about the importance of this information.

The problem can be solved by creating a culture of mentoring and, again, creating a common knowledge base. Always assign an employee to the newcomer who will supervise him during the trial period: answer organizational questions, monitor progress in work, give feedback on current tasks.

The more colleagues communicate with each other, the more involved they will be in the overall process. Initiate and organize regular meetings to discuss important business issues. Let everyone be able to talk about the problems they face and ask colleagues for advice. Or you can just devote some time to these issues in traditional general meetings.

3. Managers are afraid of competition

Some managers believe that after training, an employee can sit his boss or go to work for competitors.

But these fears can and should be fought. Firstly, it is impossible to sit a true professional with the help of advanced training alone. Secondly, an agreement can be concluded with an employee, which will specify all the conditions for training at the expense of the company. For example, what results a person will have to show or how many years to work.

How to build an effective internal training system

There are several ways. It's worth making the most of everything.

1. Combine sources of information

Many companies limit themselves to external training of employees. For example, they send them to special centers or invite consultants to conduct corporate trainings. And this makes it difficult to build a comprehensive system of staff training.

The ideal strategy is a combination of internal and external experience of the company. That is why it is so important to form a common knowledge base, which we have already discussed above. Gather training materials, interesting company cases, important corporate documents and everything that can help employees in their work in one place.

Always make sure that new information is recorded and sent to a common knowledge base.


2. Set specific learning goals

External learning is a source of new knowledge that a trained employee should not only use in their work, but also pass on to their colleagues. That is why it is important that the chosen course is dedicated to solving a really urgent problem.

There are different situations when managers encourage learning just for the sake of learning, without thinking about what real benefits this can be for the company.


Determine why you want to send employees for advanced training. You must be clear about the end result – otherwise your subordinates may not begin to put into practice what they have learned. Ideally, if you set a specific and measurable goal for the employee at the start. For example, sales should grow by 20% in a year, and a new marketing strategy needs to be developed and implemented in three months.

The more precisely the goal is set, the easier it will be to evaluate the employee's performance after training.< /p>

3. Build a culture of knowledge sharing

Ideally, when the process of knowledge exchange is structured as follows: a newcomer comes to the company, learns from experienced employees, transfers knowledge to others, and, upon dismissal, leaves his achievements to the team in an understandable and accessible form. And this is exactly the kind of system you should strive for.

Remember that moving from one company to another is an integral part of building a career for any professional. If one employee quits, another will take over. And the task of the leader here is to create a culture of mentoring and knowledge sharing, within which it will be easy to transfer all the experience accumulated earlier to the newcomer.

And it needs to be regulated, prescribed and implemented. Forming a culture of knowledge sharing is a long and painstaking work, which, however, always pays off.

4. Engage in staff rotation

When an employee leaves the organization, managers usually start looking for new specialists through external sources: job sites, social networks, recruiting agencies, and so on. They forget that people with the necessary knowledge and skills may already be in the company. And bringing them up to date will be much easier than a person from the outside.

Therefore, it is important to regularly conduct an internal assessment of the interests and skills of employees. It is possible that they have a lot of knowledge and experience that can be useful in another role.

Fix this data and use training to build a talent pool. Pay more attention to talented employees and engage in their professional development in order to realize the key goals of the company.

5. Encourage professional development

If an employee does not want to develop, then no amount of training will help him improve his work efficiency. Therefore, it is important to create an environment where people will be interested in growing professionally. They should have the opportunity to prove themselves and show the significance of their contribution to the overall development of the business.

Encourage subordinates to learn new things, try unusual methods, and look for non-standard ways to solve a problem. Here are a few tools to help:

  • Short-term courses and trainings on highly specialized topics.For example, promotion in social networks, HR administration, sales techniques, risk management. It is in these courses that you can get the most information about new tools and how they work in practice. Remember that all this should go into a common pool of knowledge and experience, which will not disappear when changing team members.
  • Team brainstorming.Bold thoughts and non-standard solutions often appear on them. At the same time, you can also connect various techniques for generating ideas. For example, mind maps or freewriting.
  • Giving freedom to make decisions. This will make employees feel like important independent units. Be sure to set specific points to control intermediate results, but do not micromanage. Total control demotivates employees and prevents them from fully expressing themselves and their talents.

6. Do not punish employees for mistakes

The path to success is impossible without mistakes. It is important to learn to draw the right conclusions and not intimidate employees with a harsh reaction to failures. Otherwise, they will no longer try new tools in their work so as not to take risks.

Do not search for the guilty, but conduct a deep analysis of the situation: what are the reasons for the failure, how to fix it and how to prevent this from happening in the future. By your own example, show employees that it’s not scary to make mistakes, it’s scary to be inactive. It is the work on the mistakes that allows you to achieve better results in the future.