How to Build a Culture of Knowledge Sharing
So, how do you build a culture of knowledge-sharing in your company? Here, we show you five steps to get started on your journey to a more open and collaborative workplace – one based on exchanging knowledge and sharing ideas.
1. Understand your current culture
The key to building a knowledge-sharing culture is assessing your current company culture. This will help you define what it is missing and what it is doing well. Having this information will give you a benchmark to begin making changes that suit your business and build on its strengths.
Some ways you can gather this information are:
- Conduct an employee engagement or pulse surveys: Surveys will help you see exactly how employees feel about your current culture and how and where it falls short. To encourage honest feedback, make these surveys anonymous.
- Team discussions: Speak with your peers and team members to get a sense of how they view the internal company culture, how freely they feel information is available, and ask for their opinions on the type of culture they would like to see. This is especially important for frontline employees who cannot access online surveys.
For frontline employees, these discussions are even more important. According to a study conducted by Workplace from Meta in 2021, over 75 per cent of the frontline employees they spoke to said they felt that their organisations did not communicate as transparently with them as they did with their desk-based employees. So, understanding how connected your frontline feels is a good way to measure how the overall company culture works, what can be improved, and how it can include everyone in the business, not just head office.
2. Begin your culture change journey
To start change, you have to begin from the top down to ensure that:
- Knowledge-sharing is a part of your core company values.
- Everyone knows the value of building a knowledge-sharing culture and remains engaged with the company’s identity and purpose.
Once you know what needs to change, start implementing these changes with the leadership and HR representatives first. Those at the top can lead by example and demonstrate the benefits of this cultural shift.
3. Choose the most effective tools to create a culture of knowledge sharing
As every organisation is different, completing a digital workplace and channel assessment is important to establish your company’s needs. With this information, you can create a plan to implement the right infrastructure and digital workplace platform to create an effective knowledge-sharing culture for your company.
Though many different tools are available, here are some examples of the most popular and effective ones to get you thinking.
An intranet is a private network that your business can use to store, organise, and share resources internally. So, it is effective for centralising information and creating a single hub of truth for employees to access. Modern intranets can also improve your knowledge-sharing culture by making communication and collaboration easy.
Here are a few examples of intranet platforms that can help you create a culture of knowledge-sharing in your company:
SharePoint streamlines knowledge-sharing. As an intranet solution, SharePoint provides a platform for your employees to:
- Store, create, edit, and share content
- Collaborate on projects
One Digital Workspace by Cocentric
One Digital Workspace is a tool that combines the centralised knowledge library feature of SharePoint with a dynamic and intuitive homepage. The platform has several features that can help grow a culture of knowledge-sharing, such as its:
- People finder: This makes finding people in your organisation simple, making it easier to communicate and collaborate with team members.
- Knowledge Hub: This makes it easy to locate and store governed documents so that employees can always access and share the correct information
- Quick Links: This tool allows employees to access the links and web pages they regularly use quickly.
- Integrations: One Digital Workspace can integrate with other communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Workplace from Meta. So, users are always up to date with information, documents, and announcements.
Two-way communication tools
These digital employee communication tools are designed to drive open conversations between all members of an organisation. These platforms work with your intranet to provide the social aspect of your workplace culture and create an environment of connection, communication, and collaboration. Here are a few examples:
This is a great tool for communicating and keeping employees updated with what is happening in a company. With Workplace, employees can:
- Share relevant information about the business. For example, users can announce the arrival of new content, new contracts, venue changes, and share documents.
- Connect with teams who may be in different locations and time zones.
- Connect with the leadership.
- Join groups relevant to them and their roles to ensure they receive the necessary information.
- Communicate with anyone from their mobile devices.
Companies can also have groups to share personalised content like holiday photos or recipes to keep employees engaged and encourage them to be a part of the company culture.
This platform streamlines communications across your business to make them more accessible. With the chat layout, Teams allows businesses to streamline communications and announcements, so they are easy to see and access. With Microsoft Teams, employees can:
- Create different sub-groups and add members so that the right people can stay updated on relevant information and announcements.
- Share resources from their SharePoint solution without creating duplicate files.
- Have one-to-one conversations to connect with teammates.
- Have face-to-face meetings, which is great for teams working remotely.
- Connect and collaborate with teammates anywhere from their mobile devices.
This new platform from Microsoft is designed to integrate with your other Microsoft products like Teams to make sharing information easier. With Viva Engage, employees can:
- Share announcements, tips, and resources on their Storyline for others to see and access.
- Connect and communicate with leadership to gain insights into what is happening in the business.
- Connect and share insights with colleagues regardless of where they are in the world.
- Join groups relevant to them.
- Access analytics to see how content and campaigns are benefiting the business.
4. Have a pre-launch plan
Eighty per cent of a successful launch happens beforehand. Carefully planning your pre-launch ensures that the entire organisation is on board. It is also a way to assess how employees react to the new tools and for you to address any concerns. Choose champions and key organisational stakeholders to help with these communications and make the launch as smooth as possible.
Other measures you can take to ensure successful adoption are:
- Adding an onboarding process: If you are adding new tools to your existing channels, consider having an onboarding process and ensuring new team members work with experienced partners when starting. This will help new team members understand that knowledge-sharing is a key component of your company’s culture.
- Plan an engaging culture campaign: Use your tools to support deployment and adoption by creating campaigns to get people excited to work with them. Have champions and ensure they and the leadership are trained to use and promote the platforms.
- Provide training: If people do not know how to use a platform, they might not be able to adopt it. So, provide training and learning resources to your employees to keep them engaged.
5. Launch and reinforce
The last step is launching your new tools. But that is not the end of the work. For a successful adoption, keep reviewing the use of the tools.
Gather and review feedback carefully and assess how your company’s culture of knowledge sharing has changed since the deployment. As you review, you can also assess whether the organisation would benefit from other tools and adjust your training to accommodate these changes.
More tips on encouraging knowledge-sharing:
- Provide training materials, templates, and editable images to accompany your communication tools and encourage knowledge-sharing.
- Make sure employees see the leadership and senior team members leading by example to encourage them to follow.
- Reinforce positive behaviours by creating awards for using your communications tools to share knowledge. Or Offer rewards or host a contest to encourage knowledge-sharing and make it more attractive and fun.
A great knowledge-sharing culture creates space for employees to connect, share ideas, collaborate, and bond over shared values. But to create this culture, you must understand what your current culture is missing and what your employees need. This will put you in a better position to choose a solution that works best for your organisation.
Unlock the best in your people with Cocentric
We partner with world-leading technology companies, including the likes of Meta and Microsoft, to give businesses the tools they need to unlock the best in their employees. We guide you in finding the best combination of channels for your environment by carrying out internal communication audits and leveraging matrices to understand what your digital landscape looks like and needs. From here, we help you implement and integrate these tools to create a workplace where employees can meaningfully connect, from the CEO to the shop floor.
For insights on choosing the right communication and collaboration tools for your business, download our handy guide or contact our expert team to see how we can help you start developing your own knowledge-sharing culture.