Studies have shown that employees of Fortune 1000 companies are not at their desk 50-60% of the time. Mobile devices, cloud-based technology, and innovative apps have decreased the reliance on a centralized location where employees gather, communicate, and work. While this remote working revolution has allowed companies to hire candidates regardless of locations, as well as increase employee productivity and open up new avenues for sales, it is not without its challenges.
If a team is working remotely, how do they stay up to date on the latest company information, including policies and procedures? Even individual employees within a team may be working remotely from the rest of the team. How can a company ensure that this remote employee remains engaged and is equipped to better their team’s outcomes?
The answer to these questions lies within a comprehensive knowledge sharing strategy.
Why Knowledge Sharing is Important
Employees who are encouraged to share knowledge become better connected to their teams and the big picture vision of the company. In a global office survey, 91% employees have identified knowledge sharing as essential or important to learning in the workplace. Thus, knowledge sharing should be a critical component of any company’s training and learning strategy. US companies spend about $1,200 per employee per year on corporate learning. An improvement in knowledge sharing can help reduce this cost by empowering employees to learn from each other and be less dependent on formal learning courses or modules. For remote teams or employees, fostering a culture of knowledge sharing is critical as they may have less opportunity for in-person knowledge sharing or social learning.
Building A Knowledge Sharing Strategy
Knowledge sharing doesn’t just happen organically. Your company, from executives to managers to frontline employees, should take steps to foster a culture of knowledge sharing. A comprehensive knowledge sharing strategy should be in place for the entire organization but is especially important for remote departments and teams.
The first step is ensuring the right tools are in place to allow for knowledge sharing. What instant communication apps are employees using? Is there a preferred project management tool? How are remote meetings conducted? Work with employees to determine how they prefer to communicate and share knowledge, then allow remote departments and teams to implement guidelines for where, how, and when they communicate with each other. Which type of messages are appropriate for instant communication, email, or shared documents? Having a set knowledge sharing strategy will allow your company to improve outcomes by engaging remote employees and empowering remote teams.
Do You Need a Knowledge Sharing Platform?
A dedicated knowledge sharing platform can help elevate your knowledge sharing strategy. A platform will not only allow remote employees to collaborate on and share company information with the entire organization, but also engage with that information through commenting, rating, and discussion. Your knowledge sharing platform should be secure and encourage employees to use and engage with it. This integration of social learning and knowledge sharing will enable remote employees to learn quicker and remote teams to work in closer collaboration, thus improving business outcomes for the entire organization.
Remote working is more and more the norm as companies implement tools that have become intuitive to new generations of employees. It is important that companies not just adapt to this remote working revolution, but prosper from it by implementing the right tools, strategies, and guidelines to empower employees and teams.