Recently, Barbara Chudak has published her great Intranet Content Publishing Guide on this blog. This post reminds me to talk about the importance and culture of information sharing.
The most successful organizations are open-minded and promote a culture of information sharing, encouraging their employees to make their knowledge available to others. This is good for the company, but also good for the employees who can feel they are “useful” because they are part of the company’s overall success by sharing information. Also, they can get the benefit of knowledge shared by others in the organization.
Why Sharing Information in the Enterprise Is Important
Storing, retrieving and sharing data such as employment contracts, templates or reports is vital for companies of any. Technology is there to support people in their jobs, however people’s input is essential.
In a nutshell, managing content is a mix of rules, processes and technology, and it is important to get it right.
Capturing and making knowledge available across the organization is imperative to the success of an organization, and management should lead by example.
How do you measure success through information sharing? Quite simply, the job gets done. Information sharing allows for innovation and efficiency, avoiding duplication and allowing new ideas to emerge.
By empowering employees to make the knowledge they have available to others and make the content they create easy to find later, everyone benefits.
There is often a misconception about knowledge: a few employees may want to keep their knowledge to themselves, thinking it would make them indispensible and more valuable, and therefore more likely to keep their jobs. At the same time, when people leave their jobs, they take their knowledge with them.
Some may not share information because they don’t trust their colleagues.
Many people in organizations tend to resist change, and getting them to adopt new processes takes time.
Some teams may be working in isolation from others, either because of their location or their function.
However, it’s better to encourage employees to share their knowledge as part of their career progression.. If people need to collaborate to achieve a target, they will feel more motivated to do so. Management can also show in a chart how each team contributes to the company’s overall objectives.
Asking colleagues for help or feedback will make them feel valued and encourage them to pass on some of the knowledge they have.
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