Organizations are constantly looking for ways to enhance their culture with ideas such as flexible working hours, a collaborative environment, team building activities, and recognition awards for employees. But oftentimes one of the most important elements of company culture is overlooked - knowledge sharing.
Knowledge sharing is vital for a company’s growth and development and should be prioritized. So, without further ado, let’s discuss why knowledge sharing is an important part of workplace culture and take a look at some ways that you or your organization can implement it.
Shows your team members that they are valued
Everyone wants to feel a part of the organization and to know that their ideas matter. Team members can contribute significantly more to a company apart from the daily tasks encompassed within their job roles by showcasing their unique experience and expertise.
Provides transparency across the organization
Is everybody on your team in the loop and familiar with what’s going on in the company aside from their own projects? Knowledge sharing is the perfect opportunity for new team members to share their roles and responsibilities giving the entire team a better understanding of the business as a whole.
Helps team members find efficient ways to solve problems
A knowledge sharing culture can remove the stigma of turning to others for help and thinking that you must have all the answers yourself. How often have you sat mulling over a problem for hours, only to solve it through a discussion with someone else? Team members sharing their own experiences can help you quickly and easily find optimal solutions to problems.
Promotes socializing in the workplace
By having a time and place where team members are able to share information and learn from one another, you provide an opportunity for everyone in the organization to socialize. Building relationships within a company fosters friendships, drives employee engagement, and creates a positive work culture.
Improves communication skills
Whether your team engages in open discussions, publishes written content, or organizes presentations, you are vastly improving your communication skills.
Builds a sea of knowledge
An organization’s most valuable asset is its people. Team members bring their knowledge, skills, experience, and proactiveness to the workplace. New skills and ways of critical thinking are always welcome and can only motivate and inspire your team. Your customers will be more than happy to work with a team that possesses a diverse set of skills and loves taking on exciting challenges and learning new things.
From executives to interns, everyone in an organization is responsible for contributing to a company’s culture. You can either be the person that brings the ideas to the table or executes them yourself. Let's discuss a few examples of how knowledge sharing can be implemented in your workplace.
1. Build a knowledge library
A knowledge library is an efficient way for team members to easily access the information they are looking for.
In order to create your knowledge library, you need to choose a platform where you can organize and store information. At RUBICON, we use Notion - an all-in-one workspace where you can organize notes, boards, calendars, and databases. By using Notion or a similar platform, you can create a space to store and organize information making it available to everyone in the company.
Planning, researching, and organizing
Sift through your already existing content (articles, books, videos, PDFs, etc) to find out what is helpful and worth sharing and what is ready for the trash bin. After you’ve reviewed your content, you need to consider how you’re going to organize your knowledge library to make it easily accessible. By category, by alphabetical order? Take a look at what works best for your organization. Make it user-friendly and easy for your team to navigate so they don’t spend too much time searching for what they are looking for.
Once you’ve created your knowledge library, share it with everyone. Don’t just publish it and forget about it because it’s important for you to frequently update it and maintain it making sure all content is fresh and up to date. Lastly, encourage all team members to add valuable resources to keep the knowledge library growing.
2. Share interesting reads with your team
My mornings usually consist of me getting ready for the workday by reading interesting articles or watching short informational videos. Whenever I run across something I think would be insightful to the rest of my team, I share it on our Slack channel #learning. Our #learning channel is a place where tons and tons of articles, books, and videos are shared throughout the day. This is an easy option to share information and start an engaging discussion.
3. Give everyone the opportunity to attend events
There are plenty of industry events available worldwide that offer valuable knowledge, professional speakers, exciting activities, and fun networking opportunities. Unfortunately, most, if not all, events have been shifted online but still made available to anyone willing to attend. Encourage team members to participate in these events and share a recap with the rest of the team. From programming to project management to marketing, everyone and anyone on your team can find something that appeals to them.
4. Make online courses accessible
Online courses are a great way to motivate team members to learn new skills or hone their already-existing ones. Platforms such as Udemy or PluralSight provide users with a large selection of reputable courses. From courses in react.js to photoshop tutorials - there is something available for everyone. At RUBICON, we have company accounts on both platforms where all team members are able to choose courses that they would like to explore.
5. Create a space for sharing
The easiest and best way to uphold knowledge sharing within your company is to find a time and place for it. You can schedule an event, once a month, where team members present interesting topics in front of the company.
RUBICON Sync is the name of the event where we present, engage in discussions, and most importantly learn from each other.
Every third Friday of the month, one or two team members sign up to steal the spotlight and present a specific topic. Before the pandemic, developers, designers, product owners, and yes even marketers would gather at 3 PM in our office lounge waiting for the presenter to start. Fast forward to life during the pandemic and not much has changed regarding RUBICON Sync, other than the fact that the presentations are held on Google Meet and that it’s more difficult to see a presenter’s face flush red at times (because let’s get real - developers don’t really present that often.) From tech-savvy presentations to presentations on how to write a tech blog, a variety of valuable topics are shared and each team member is given a chance to contribute.
Organize your very own company event so that every expert on your team has a chance to present their knowledge. It can be once a week or once a month, whatever your team feels works best for them. Remember: sharing is caring.
I hope that you have found this information valuable and now understand the importance of prioritizing knowledge sharing at your own organization. I encourage you to run away with my ideas and either implement them yourself or pitch them to your team.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org as RUBICON is always looking for ways to boost our company culture.
Have fun knowledge sharing!
Note: Feel free to send interesting content my way because knowledge sharing doesn’t only have to be within an organization but it can also involve our entire online community. You can find more interesting content on our RUBICON blog.