Silas is a safety professional who provides oversight of multiple business operations after obtaining an MBA through Touro College
Organizational Knowledge Sharing
It is no secret that the culture becomes notable when workers engage one another by knowledge sharing. Having a competitive edge requires meaningful communication that influences the people within the organization. A company that promotes knowledge sharing avoids developing barriers. Without information sharing, a company places itself in jeopardy, and potential growth may plateau. In today’s market, a company cannot end its information processing effort. Too much is on the line without communicating solutions associated with managing change in an organization.
This article lists three reasons why employees are less likely to communicate and share information and three solutions to encourage knowledge sharing. Using the sources presented will help develop a knowledge management system to engage with employees.
The research found that 58% of the workforce admits that the knowledge they pass along is unique and essential to share (Postolache, 2020). Information sharing is an asset and provides an edge over the competition. Caruso (2008) stated that 94% of managers responded that communication is a top management priority. Knowledge sharing is vital to create a competitive edge. This article lists three reasons why employees are less likely to share information and three solutions to encourage knowledge sharing.
Three Reasons Why Employees Do Not Knowledge Share
Knowledge sharing is necessary to empower personnel as a novel way of thinking. Organizations need to foster information sharing from the top-down and bottom-up. However, employees that refuse to share knowledge and make it difficult to access critical information presents a problem. A lack of shared information among the group imparts a problem caused by a few reasons. Three reasons workers do not share information result from the company culture, replacement, and fear of trouble.
There is a multitude of reasons why employees do not share knowledge. Employee behavior may result from the culture. The culture describes the pattern developed by the group of employees. Group behavior resembles the culture as the way the organization conducts its business. Often, sharing stems from the top, and a climate issue arises because of individual behavior and intent. The climate problem exists from a lack of trust among individual team members. Thus, culture plays a vital role in knowledge sharing.
Employees are worried about being replaced at work. Hearing the quote “knowledge is power” embodies a competitive advantage toward promotions, bonuses, and career progression. Whether an employee shares their knowledge, they may lose an opportunity, meaning they lost an opportunity with the company. Expanding and sharing across the workforce is a problem as the lack of communication places a burden on the organization. Often, an employee lacks the concept to share, which produces a negative impact on morale. Low employee morale causes high employee turnover in the workplace.
Fear of Trouble
Fear of getting in trouble is a reason for limited information distribution. Organizations develop cultures that punish “the squeaky wheel” and encourage employees to keep their heads low to get the job done. Here, fear may develop into limitations that hamper communication and reduces organizational performance. Court proceedings often place an employee in a vulnerable position because of nondisclosure protocol. Court procedures result in fear as expert witness testimony includes regulatory violations (Wahl, 2017). Fear of punishment and nondisclosure protocol prevent knowledge sharing.
Three Solutions to Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Developing and sustaining knowledge across the organization starts at the top. Leaders must distribute information downward by setting the example for others to follow. Leaders must cultivate and promote information sharing initiatives at each organizational level. Providing a culture that advocates sharing motivates employees to pass along unique knowledge (Azudin, Ismail, & Taherali, 2009). To support a fresh idea, leaders must develop an atmosphere through collaboration. Three areas to enhance the flow of information include looking at the office space design, team-building opportunities, and training.
Office Space Design
To promote passing along essential knowledge requires an open concept office environment. Designing office space to allow conversations between the employees is a method to allow each to converse. Next, coffee stations, conference rooms, and casual seating in a shared space will offer a social and friendly atmosphere. Providing a working environment that attracts talent, enables change, and augments employee motivation to share what they know (Youngren, 2017). Office design helps engage and motivate employees to discuss solutions to problems in the work environment.
Sharing efforts requires courage. Often, the fear of getting into trouble prevents employees from communicating. Encouraging communication requires team building activities that allow employees to overcome the fear of trouble within the work environment. Off-site events and meetings give efforts to team build. Allowing time for discussions to find problems requires brainstorming to develop solutions (Youngren, 2017). Team building offers benefits to encourage knowledge-sharing by engaging with employees.
Training should support communication from the start of an employee’s career. New hire mentors must offer an open dialog to present a positive impact on communication efforts. Allow a new employee to shadow an experienced employee and observe opinions among the workforce related to the policy, process, and procedures. Ask new employees for information they gained to find what works and what does not. Implementing training opportunities should increase the likelihood that information cross flow improves.
Employees must communicate to discover problems and work through issues. To increase business revenue, the workers must direct their attention toward practical communication efforts. Improving communication requires a few steps to engage and motivate the workforce. They include an open office design, team-building, and training to present a positive change. Simple changes to promote communication provide benefits through information sharing.
Azudin, N., Ismail, M., & Taherali, Z. (2009). Knowledge sharing among workers: A study on their contribution through informal communication in cyberjaya, malaysia. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal 1(2), 139-162. http://doi=10.1.1.700.841&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Caruso, D. (2008, August). The real value of intangibles. Strategy and business 51(1). https://www.strategy-business.com/article/08302
Postolache, A. (2020). 6 ways a knowledge sharing culture can improve your bottom line. https://www.quandora.com/6-ways-knowledge-sharing-culture-improve-bottom-line/
Wahl, Z. (2017). Why people fail to share knowledge. https://enterprise-knowledge.com/why-people-fail-to-share-knowledge/
Youngren, D. (2017, July 20). 5 ways to increase knowledge sharing in your organization [Web log post]. https://bloomfire.com/blog/522359-5-ways-to-encourage-knowledge-sharing-within-your-organization/