Reasons why sharing knowledge is essential for a company's growth
As an IT company dedicated to developing cutting-edge technology web apps and websites, we consider sharing knowledge and experience with the rest of the IT community to be essential for a company’s growth.
On the other hand, many companies are averse to sharing their knowledge and best practices with the rest of the world. They believe all knowledge should stay within the company’s walls. Still, there has been a rise in popularity in knowledge sharing and more and more companies are turning around from closed doors systems. As an IT company we are all in on knowledge sharing and here is exactly why!
Why is sharing knowledge between companies important?
In today’s world, a lot of companies share their knowledge on blogs, workshops, and even on Youtube. After the explosion of that thing called the Internet, the world has become one big library that can be accessed with three clicks. The time when a company’s recipe for success was the best-kept secret is over. Modern enterprises are openly speaking about the issues they are facing and how they’re dealing with them. A competitor is no longer an enemy but a source of new knowledge.
Specifically, in the IT community, there has been a rise in the popularity of knowledge sharing. Factory is just one of many companies getting on the bandwagon of sharing skills and knowledge. For instance, we love to talk about new trends in the IT world, give tips in our expert areas, or just create checklists and guides.
So why is sharing knowledge inside and outside the company so important? We believe that by sharing our experiences we are encouraging employees to make mistakes but also to continuously learn as well as creating a sharing culture within the community and a positive company image.
So, it comes down to encouraging growth on the inside and on the outside of the company. One can even argue that by sharing knowledge, the company is creating a competitive advantage over companies that don’t. Let’s take a look at some examples!
Examples of good knowledge sharing practices
In the last couple of years, our developers have been working non-stop on the Pimcore platform and decided to share their experiences with the community by writing blog posts, guides, and tutorials about it, so we even created a Pimcore Knowledge Base on our site!
Since Pimcore is still a fairly unknown platform in this part of the world, our knowledge base posts were a blast. Sharing knowledge and providing examples of top brands using exactly this CMS has proven beneficial for us. There is a lot of buzz around this topic and the IT community is searching for every bit of useful information they can get.
Also, there are a lot of customers who are looking to switch to Pimcore and stumble upon one of our blogs. We are attracting new customers, giving back to the IT community, and encouraging our own employees to learn more.
We are also sharing knowledge in areas connected with our products and activities, so you can inform yourself about starting an online marketplace, product configurators, and other interesting topics.
Since our company is building a lot of eCommerce projects, we are happy to share all the trends, practices but also troubles and solutions we have found with the community.
Benefits and positive impact of sharing knowledge
One of the first benefits of knowledge sharing is learning. As was said before, lots of companies share their knowledge online and we are here to read it! It is valuable for us to gain new knowledge in this rapidly changing world. So taking and giving is the first benefit of knowledge sharing and it is becoming essential in the IT community.
Secondly, we are encouraging the growth of our employees through the learning process. This too includes knowledge sharing. By sharing their problems and ways to solve them, employees are gaining motivation for further growth and a feeling of importance. They are engaging with the community, and that always feels good.
In the end, it is our company culture to learn and share! Being present in the local community and sharing our knowledge online is part of our DNA. In doing all this, we are not just motivating young people to join our company, but also our employees to stay sharp for future challenges.
It also connects people and helps to raise team spirit! By encouraging members of your team to read, report back, share knowledge, solve problems, and share their new knowledge you’re bringing the team closer together. So actually you are sharing knowledge inside the company first and consequently on the outside. Furthermore, by doing that you are making sure all of the employees stay informed about current issues and have a good working atmosphere.
It attracts new customers and fresh faces. There are a lot of companies with similar problems. If you post a blog about how you solved a problem for one customer, others may see it too. And they will come to you, to solve the same problem for them. If you’re wondering – Won’t the competition also see it? Yes, it will. But that’s the beauty of knowledge sharing. Competition is not the enemy but a source of new knowledge! Furthermore, by sharing knowledge you are painting a picture of the company. People will want to work for you if you have a good company image.
It looks good! Simple as that. By reporting on your projects, problems, and solutions, the employees, their stories, and their journey, you’re creating an image of openness and growth! The company will be perceived and known as innovative, successful, and creative.
How to implement knowledge sharing as an everyday practice?
Office space that encourages sharing
This may seem like an unimportant thing but it is proven that the look of the office space plays a key role in how people feel. For example, walls or cubicles that are so often used in office spaces are doing nothing to encourage knowledge sharing. On the other hand, by opening up space and placing co-workers face-to-face you are motivating them to talk. Another great thing to do is make shared spaces like an office lounge or kitchen as inviting and warm as possible. In this way, people will feel comfortable talking on the brakes. Also placing boards all over the office is a great way to encourage people to write down their ideas!
Talk to each person individually
It often happens that people sharing knowledge, are not actually writing about it. In many IT companies, the marketing team writes and developers or designers give information about the content. This means the two teams need an easy and fast way to communicate.
This can be solved with weekly meetings where the knowledge will be shared internally. Also, not everybody is a chatterbox and it is desirable to adapt to each person individually. Whether you talk to them on a coffee break or you send them a sheet to write about their knowledge.
In this way, you are also bringing employees closer together no matter how different they are.
Sharing knowledge needs to be rewarded
Whether it is a public “good job” note or chocolate for the employee of the month, you should always reward admirable behavior, especially if you are trying to encourage knowledge-sharing practices inside your company. In doing so you are making sure knowledge sharing culture is perceived as important and positive.
It comes from the top
Does your top management know how important knowledge sharing is? It all comes from the top, so make sure your managers are the ones motivating employees to share and write about their experiences. The best way to do this is by leading by example.
Find the right platform
This goes for the inside as well as for the outside of the company. We already said that good communication inside the company is a key to knowledge sharing but you can make your life easier with the use of the right platform. We can recommend using tools like Slack, Google hangouts, Fleep, Workzone or similar platforms that will make your life easier.
On the other hand, choosing the right platform to publish your articles is as important as writing. Have in mind you want to reflect the company’s image and attract new customers if possible. So the good thing is to try to publish your articles on platforms and websites that your clients visit.
So what’s in it for me?
By sharing your knowledge with the rest of the community you are actually:
- Encouraging the growth of your company
- Learning through the process of sharing
- Raising motivation levels in your employees
- Promoting your work and brand
- Being present and giving back to the community
So it’s safe to say that knowledge sharing will have a positive impact on your company and employees. Knowledge sharing should be a part of a company’s culture. It sends a positive message to your customers, future employees, and community.
If you’re still unsure whether or not you should be sharing your knowledge, check out our blog and tell us if it was useful for you!
Have a tip or an idea about related topics? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org