Knowledge sharing is the process by which individuals exchange knowledge in order to create new knowledge. This process can occur between individuals, within teams and across the organization. It is a critical team process that involves members interacting to share ideas, information, and suggestions relevant to the team’s task at hand.
Given the importance of knowledge sharing in the organizations, below are four recommendations that leaders should consider implementing to increase knowledge sharing and enhance performance within teams:
1. Foster A Creative, Diverse and Trusting Environment:
Trust in another team member is directly related to the quality of the information people are willing to share. Team leaders who lead by example and demonstrate that the open sharing of ideas and information is valuable for the team are more likely to achieve the goal of promoting knowledge sharing throughout their organizations. Creativity requires a more open and diverse environment to flourish. Invest in building a diverse team to enrich the possibilities of new points of view and insights coming from the knowledge sharing.
2. Non-hierarchical decision making:
By adopting a participative decision making style, a team leader provides more opportunities for members to share their ideas. When team members have space to give input it is more likely that they will influence decision making and thereby experience the importance of knowledge sharing. It is also likely that a better decision will result from the collective knowledge of the group, based on a more diverse collection of points of view then the one possessed by the team leader alone.
3. Be Clear about your Values and expectations:
When individuals have clarity about the company’s vision, mission and values, it is easier for them to understand how and why they can collaborate with new ideas and share insights that will help the organization move forward and continually progress. Ensuring that knowledge will be used for the greater good of the team decreases knowledge hoarding and facilitates trust by agreeing to put the collective interest of the team first.
Individuals are motivated to share their unique knowledge with one another when their leader treats them fairly and recognizes their input as valuable. Knowledge sharing will increase when team leaders recognize individuals for their contribution of ideas and information.