Why You Need to Allow Access to Your Knowledge
It isn’t uncommon for business owners to keep their knowledge close to the chest, hesitant to share what some might consider valuable proprietary information with their staff or - heaven forbid - their clients. While we agree that you shouldn’t necessarily overshare with your clients, your staff needs to have access to some information in order to do their jobs
This tactic is known as knowledge sharing - one that we have been able to use to our advantage in many ways.
What Is Knowledge Sharing?
In our case, “knowledge” can be defined as an appreciation of the causes and effects of a given process. It is more than just having information - it is having insight into this information that gives it greater context.
Once knowledge has been collected and calculated, it can be leveraged as data to help you make better business decisions.
Going off of this definition, “knowledge sharing” can, in turn, be defined as any activity that takes this data and knowledge - whether that knowledge is in the form of information or the practical skills of employees - and exchanges it throughout the business’ network. What’s interesting is that knowledge sharing doesn’t have to occur in the formal business environment. The more relaxed setting of the company lunchtime can serve as a catalyst not only for wisdom-sharing but team building as well.
Why Is Knowledge Sharing a Good Thing?
Frankly, there are many, many reasons that knowledge sharing works to a business’ advantage. From benefiting the team as a whole in their processes, to boosting company culture, to assisting in talent retention, knowledge sharing has the potential to enhance a variety of business matters. Furthermore, knowledge sharing can promote a variety of cultural benefits in your business.
Innovation and Creativity are Bolstered
Or, in simpler terms, “two heads are better than one.” By allowing knowledge to be shared throughout your business, more minds have the opportunity to mull over situations and challenges. As a result, more minds can potentially come up with a solution.
It Encourages Employee Input
On a related note, a culture that promotes knowledge sharing also promotes open communication across departments and levels of a business. Who knows - a winning idea could come from the C-suite, or it could come from the employee who just started a few months ago.
It Also Encourages Collaboration
It stands to reason that if your employees are comfortable sharing information and knowledge with one another, they are going to become more comfortable with sharing other things - feedback and criticism, for example. While there can be such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen, it is better for a larger group of people to be able to contribute and speak up.
Accountability is Reinforced
Let me pitch you a hypothetical question: in an environment where knowledge sharing is the norm, how would you expect someone who keeps this knowledge to themselves because “nobody else needs to know” to be received? What about the “that’s above your pay grade” answer? Finally, what happens if the person with the ‘keys to the castle’ leaves? In short, none of these attitudes is going to fly in modern business, as knowledge sharing tends to promote openness and accountability throughout the organization.
Knowledge is Preserved
Let’s say that one of your employees is, in a Final Destination-esque series of events, left “indisposed” after an argument with a train. All of their knowledge, gone. Without knowledge sharing, you’re screwed. How many times have we asked a team leader about their process, only to be told, “It’s all in my head?”. However, with knowledge sharing practices in place, like documentation and other employees being aware of the processes that need to be completed, your business can survive. In many ways, wisdom-sharing is the BDR of a business’ culture.
How We Share Our Knowledge, Internally and Beyond
Here at Directive, we have never shied away from sharing knowledge, whether one of our team members needs assistance from another, or someone reaches out to us with a question. I myself have been known to give free lessons during phone calls, and we maintain an internal knowledge center that our staff can reference - along with documentation for many of the processes that we repeat on a regular basis. Whether we’re replacing a component in a client’s infrastructure or rolling out a website, we document everything to ensure it is done right, both at the moment and in the future. We also host website training webinars that our internal staff are encouraged to attend.
In short, knowledge is power, and we’re all about making each other stronger. To leverage this strength in support of your business’ IT, reach out to us at 607.433.2200.