Think of it as the secret sauce that gets passed on from one generation to the next. Knowledge transfer should not be taken for granted. Here's how to plan for it.
I was recently on a video call with a good friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while. My friend is a veteran cop. He is extremely smart, blessed with a beautiful family and passion for his career…an all around great guy. During his spare time, he works on developing a curriculum for police academies across the nation. His goal is to transfer as much of his insight as possible to the next generation of graduates. He explained that this type of knowledge transfer can’t be found in textbooks and requires lots of rigor and dedication, in other words…loads of work. To the question: Why are you doing this? He simply answered: “I feel that it’s the right thing to do”.
Why is knowledge transfer so essential?
While your organization may not be in the business of saving lives, it’s critical to the health of your business that you’re able to get the right information to the right person at the right time. Great leaders understand this and empower their employees accordingly. The more an employee knows the more likely he or she is to take the right decisions.
Today’s workforce is motivated by the desire for continuous learning and collaborating. In fact, an employee’s average tenure in a job is just 4.5 years. Whatever the reason for leaving, employee turnover costs employers big bucks. Loss of knowledge and experience as well as recruitment costs create a highly compelling case as to why organizations should develop a solid strategy for capturing and sharing knowledge in the workplace.
How to share the knowledge
1.Make it part of the core values of your organization
Foster trust and openness. If you create a culture of openness, people will be willing to share their knowledge.
2.Document, document, document
Knowledge needs to be captured before it can be shared. Use this “rule of three” below in order to determine what information needs to be captured.
3.Showcase your work
Encourage your experienced employees to showcase their work to teammates. Consider highlighting transparency as a cultural value. These small acts can send an important signal to employees about the value you place on knowledge sharing.
4.Make it simple to share
Long gone are the days of drawn out procedure manuals that nobody reads. There are plenty of “knowledge management platforms” that make it easy to access the desired information and also offer video transcript capabilities.
Great leaders can originate from any level of an organization and from any walk of life. Sharing their knowledge comes naturally to them because they know that it’s the right thing to do.
 Bozarth, Jane (2014, May 5). Show your work: The payoffs and how-to’s of working out loud.
 Paul, Jon (2018, September 21). D2L. Why it’s important to transfer knowledge and subject matter expertise. https://www.d2l.com/corporate/blog/transfer-knowledge-expertise/
 Deloitte Insights (2017, February 28). Careers and learning: Real time, all the time. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2017/learning-in-the-digital-age.html