Knowledge sharing is a vital part of fuelling growth, especially between virtual teams who could feel disconnected in their goals and processes.
Here are some recommendations based on the latest academic research to help encourage the flow of knowledge in your organisation.
The Palgrave Handbook of Knowledge Management highlights that the primary motivator of knowledge sharing isn’t financial rewards; it’s the desire to improve interpersonal relationships. In other words, wanting to connect with and help others fuels our desire to share knowledge.
To encourage knowledge sharing, you must cultivate social connections. Ordinarily, that would mean coffee stations, conference rooms, casual seating, and break-out spaces instead of cubicles and isolated islands of desks and chairs. However, during the current move to remote working, digital equivalents have had to be found instead. For example:
Research has shown that a low level of trust can lead to knowledge hoarding. And workers are more likely to hoard knowledge when the information is implicit (e.g., their own personal techniques and methods) than explicit (e.g., a report, PowerPoint template, or memo).
One reason people hoard knowledge is that they aren’t sure if they’ll lose the advantage that possessing the information affords them. To combat this concern, knowledge sharing can be promoted by:
These measures can help raise collective awareness that knowledge sharing benefits the company and the individual.
You’ll also need the right tools to make information swapping efficient. There are more collaborative tools available than ever, so choose platforms that are best suited to your teams’ work.
Cloud-based apps are a perfect choice for bringing the knowledge of teams in offices and remote workers together in one place.
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