London (UK), February 2017 - New research shows that knowledge sharing can provide significant business benefits, but people professionals need to do more to support change. In the modern workplace, knowledge can define a company's unique proposition and is a key source of business value.
Some 98% of organisations want to increase the ongoing sharing of good practice through the use of technology-enabled learning; however, only one in five are achieving this goal - with the finance, IT, and telecoms sectors being amongst the most proactive.
Data from 600 L&D leaders and 5,000 workers has been examined in this new research led by Towards Maturity and sponsored by Crossknowledge. The work identifies the tools and tactics of those successful in capturing and sharing company know-how and the impact this is having on their staff and business goals.
Those successful in capturing and sharing company know-how are twice as likely to report that the capability of their organisation to solve problems has increased and that they have doubled the drive in business innovation.
Jason Hathaway, Director of Content and Learning Solutions, Crossknowledge, says, "Organisations today tick and prosper thanks to the breadth and depth of their employees' combined knowledge and expertise. Retiring senior workers are leaving behind massive gaps in expertise, so how organisations capture this critical knowledge and know-how before they disappear is crucial."
Tools are critical to facilitate sharing, and those that actively encourage learners to collaborate in building knowledge resources use tools such as wikis, forums, podcasts, and videos.
As well as the tactics and tools used to encourage sharing, the new research identifies the behaviours of the employee. One in five staff members are proactively sharing what they know with peers, one in five are not willing to share what they know, and the rest need to be provided with an opportunity to share and help getting started.
Sharers are three times more likely to involve classroom trainers and twice as likely to have content-curation strategies in place to help staff make sense of the resources available to them.
Indeed, creating a culture in which staff feel safe to share and contribute knowledge plays a crucial role. In organisations that share knowledge, managers are four times more likely to encourage their staff to make time for social and informal learning. Furthermore, in sharing organisations, people are twice as likely to contribute their own learning resources to share with others.
Commenting on the report, Laura Overton, Founder and CEO of Towards Maturity said, "Organisations and individuals are facing rapid change. Everyone is looking to encourage the sharing of good practice, but fewer than a third are using tools that will help staff share and access knowledge, and less than a quarter have the skills they need to facilitate social learning.
This report shows that the successful will not be holding on to their knowledge, but actively sharing it with their peers. Modern people professionals have a critical role to play; having high hopes is not enough - they need to harness new tools and build new skills."