Self-made steel tycoon, philanthropist and one of the wealthiest businessmen of the 19th century, Andrew Carnegie once observed-
“You take away all my Factories, You take away all my Money, You take away all that I possess, But leave me my Men and in next 5 years they can get me everything I had or even more.”
Knowledge sharing is a very important human resource in any organization. So, what is knowledge sharing and why is it important? How can knowledge sharing improve an organization’s working? Why should we develop a habit of sharing our knowledge and who should we preferably share it with?
When we share knowledge amongst colleagues in an organization, we are sharing and exchanging information, skills and expertise and creating awareness within the workforce of what is expected of them. It is vitally important to share knowledge with your co-workers not only to preserve the workforce, but, also to keep them updated.
Any organization which has a culture of sharing will have faster response times and solutions to problems. Sharing knowledge will achieve better results for both the organization and their clients.
Confidence in the workplace also increases comfort levels, co-ordination and efficiency. People get more committed when there is a proper source of guidance and sharing of knowledge.
Absence of such a sharing culture may result in employees feeling isolated and unimportant creating lack of interest in new ideas and ultimately leaving for greener pastures. Organization should make use of a variety of tools such as Knowledge Management to keep employees close and develop a legacy of knowledge sharing for the company.
As the workforce gets younger, the new generation of ‘millennials’ are getting ready to take staffing by storm. In the next five years, these workers will comprise half the global workforce, making it critical for employers to recognize the generational gap of workplace knowledge.
Every organization invests a significant amount of time and money into hiring in order to bag the brightest talent. Hiring is a risk management exercise. To avoid the risk and ensure the new hires integrate into the company through knowledge transfer is a sound practice.
Preserving information about your business operations within the company is vital. Having higher senior employees share and transfer their knowledge with younger employees can boost your contingency in the event of a turnover in the workforce.
In the present-day workplace, the generation-gap cannot be ignored and it is important to create a culture of knowledge transfer. Knowledge transfer can boost your bottom line. Two-way conversions can benefit your entire workforce. Employees feel more connected and develop fresh and unique perspectives and convert new ideas and tactics into reality.
The ‘millennial’ generation now entering the workface in large numbers will reshape the world of business in the years to come. Millennials’ use of technology clearly sets them apart. With this new generation for whom only the language of technology makes sense, knowledge transfer is the challenge for organizations today.
Some older senior management do not relate to this young generation of workers or always understand the way they use technology at work. Millennials concept of management style and corporate culture is vastly different and they find rigid corporate structures uncomfortable. Millennials look for a flexible approach to work together with regular feedback and encouragement. They want to feel their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognised.
Attracting the best of the millennials and retaining them will be a challenge for every organization. The career aspirations and attitudes towards work of the millennials and their knowledge of new technologies are different from the Baby Boomer generation. The culture of the twenty first century workplace will be defined by them. This young generation of the workforce is most likely to change careers at least once and, there is less long term commitment to organizations.
Naturally innovative employers such as Google and Apple, have no problems in attracting the brightest and most talented of the millennials. Their culture and management style has a natural appeal to this generation.
Millennials expect to work in communities of mutual interest and not structured hierarchies. With this new generation becoming a part of the world workface, hierarchies have to disappear. People management strategies, therefore, will have to change and a more inventive talent strategy is needed so that they look more like Facebook and less like the rigid structures that are currently prevalent. This is the only way knowledge transfer will be a successful exercise.