Sharing knowledge, training, and keeping your team in the loop of important information is very important. However, as your company grows, it can become a bit of a challenge to scale this in an effective way. In this article, you will find 6 helpful tips.
In any given company, there are multiple daily communication needs which have to be fulfilled to ensure a smooth running of operations: email messages to send, meetings to schedule, presentations, memos and reports to distribute, training content to share, people to onboard… Because it is responsible for the active flow of information, productivity and efficiency, knowledge sharing is a key part of any successful business. All these activities will ensure people are working together towards a common goal and an aligned strategy. Comms are part and parcel of a cohesive corporate culture which will keep employees engaged and happy, while also helping them make the right decisions that are aligned with the overall objectives, and helping them have all the tools they need to perform at their highest level.
One important thing to note before we list our top tips on how to ensure your knowledge sharing activities are effective, it that information is not a synonym for communication. Communication may involve information, but it is important to understand that effective communication only happens when an exchange results in shared meaning. It is naïve to believe that once you have released a message (think an e-mail, or a post-it note you stuck on to your colleague’s screen), you were able to communicate successfully. Communication is all about facilitating dialogue and ensuring your message actually gets across.
So, how do you ensure knowledge sharing is effective in your company?
Here are a few pointers in the right direction!
1. Create objectives for your internal communication
Before you decide on what you want to achieve, it is a good idea to assess where you are now. Do internal comms happen at all? How effective is it? Can you find the biggest shortcomings and create specific goals that address those? We recommend running an anonymous survey to gather people’s thoughts (and biggest pain-points!) and, even organising cross-business units focus groups that can dig deeper into the challenges. Who is better than the recipients of your communication to give you feedback on it?
Once you know where you stand, make sure you create clear SMART goals based on what you’ve learned.
2. Draw a plan
Once you know where you stand, and have created clear goals based on that, it is time to turn these goals into an action plan. And, as in any plan, make sure you include where you are, what you want to achieve, what you are going to do to achieve it, and how will you measure success.
3. Segment your audience
Not all communication outputs and training content are for everyone, so it is important to have well defined segments of staff according to the different types of communication and knowledge sharing activities. You have the obvious ones such as business unit, seniority, or geography, but depending on your organization and what you define on your plan you are likely to need a few more. Most people will end up in more than one of these segments, but having the right cohort groups in place will help you reach the right audience quicker, and make sure what you want to convey reaches everyone that is supposed to reach.
A great way to ensure consistency in these groups, is to have the same segmentation in the different tools and channels you use to communicate.
4. Get the right channels in place
Different types of content and different audience segments will require different channels. Company-wide announcements and policies should be widely available on the intranet, but region-specific training content should be stored in a training platform that allows for a customised access to the relevant audience.
5. Use the right tools for each purpose
There are multiple tools that aim to facilitate collaboration and communication, and although it's a general best practice to minimize your tool stack, you must ensure you have the right tools for each purpose: a video conferencing tool for live meetings; a company-wide chat tool to facilitate communication between everyone; a collaboration tool to create, share and collaboratively edit documents in real-time and an online video training tool for training.
6. Foster a sense of belonging
Effective and frequent communication should be a cornerstone of your corporate culture, and that includes helping to create a sense of belonging whether your employees are in the same office space, spread across different offices or working remotely.
You can strengthen a sense of belonging by using corporate branding smartly: make sure all your tools are fully branded and they follow your brand book guidelines. E-mail signatures, corporate merchandise, internal tools, training content… it all should have your company’s look and feel. Also, remember to be open to feedback and be inclusive in your communications: encourage people to share their thoughts and constantly evaluate and suggest improvements to what’s being done.
There are plenty of great tools to help you make sure information and knowledge reaches the right people, at the right time. When it comes to your onboarding and continuous training needs, we invite you to try bugle.
Let us know how we can help make your knowledge sharing more effective.
You may also find interesting:
12 tips to choose the right training platform (article)
7 tips to solve company growth challenges (article)
How to collaborate effectively when working remotely (article)
Fostering a sense of belonging in your remote workers (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you scale knowledge sharing and training in your company?