Have you ever been in a situation where someone on your team was either let go or left the company and with them went tons of knowledge and information only THEY knew? Some processes, how to’s, and valuable details were in that person’s brain. And that brain has left the building?
Of course, it’s easy to summarize this situation as an organizational oversite, where the company didn’t make their employees keep information in files or systems. But we aren’t talking data here, nor common information known by everyone. We’re talking about knowledge that’s immeasurable and invaluable. The type of knowledge that’s gained through individual experiences, collected by navigating your company’s day-to-day.
This type of knowledge is hard to gather and catalog because they’re tidbits of ‘know how’ that typically get tucked into our brains for our own personal use.
There are many reasons why this type of intelligence doesn’t get shared. Sometimes:
- people don’t think it’s important enough to share.
- people don’t know how to communicate the information.
- people don’t want to share because having the information gives them an edge or makes them feel more invaluable.
- Sound the alarm for this one. This thought process is toxic to teams. Information hoarding for egocentric purposes creates distrust. A mindset of “I” am getting better instead of “we” are getting better slows down team growth.
But no matter the root of the cause, companies should encourage a sharing is caring culture, which will:
- promote a team mindset
- expand team progress and knowledge
- create more seamless transitions during organizational changes
So here are some quick tips to foster a ‘we’ environment, where sharing is caring, and there’s a desire for everyone to be their best.
- Ask your star. That’s right just ask. If there’s an employee doing something exceptionally, ask them how they did it and then ask them to train or tell others how to do it. Empower your star to teach others to be awesome like them.
- Create an in-house tips and tricks newsletter and ask everyone to contribute.
- Talk frequently and enthusiastically about how each person’s expertise is needed for the company to thrive. Knowing you’re valued beyond the ‘clock-in, clock-out’ will help foster a transcendent purpose atmosphere, which is the perfect vibe for wanting to see colleagues succeed.
- Team Building! Hosting team building events, meetings or activities will help morale and bonding. People who like each other will be more willing to lift each other up and want to see each other thrive.
Preventing ‘knowledge purge’ when employees leave, is important stuff. Starting over with processes because an employee left with the intricate tips and tricks that made it tick is time-consuming and costly. So, cultivate an environment where those intricacies are shared because sharing is caring…..and having employees that care is what grows businesses.