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Steps For Knowledge Transfer In The Workplace

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Steps For Knowledge Transfer In The Workplace

Presidents, vice-presidents, managers and executives belonging to the ‘baby boomer’ era have retired or will do so soon. Does that mean that their vast resources of knowledge and years of experience will be lost to the organization they’ve worked in? This institutional knowledge is an important resource, which, if not tapped and stored, will mean a huge loss for the organization.

Knowledge management has never been more important. It is all about transferring knowledge from people’s minds into a system where it is shared, stored, referred and used by all employees at different times depending upon the need for it. Sharing knowledge is beneficial for both the giver as well as the learner. An efficient knowledge management system in an organization translates into higher productivity, lesser loss of time and definitely larger profits.

For an organization wanting to create an effective knowledge management system, some basics need to be in place, such as:

  • Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture: Information and communication from the top management right down to the lowest level should create a culture of knowledge sharing and realize its importance. Tell people that the knowledge is owned by the organization collectively, rather than every employee individually.
  • Encouraging People to Develop and Enhance their Skill Sets: Set up a system for sharing information and share vital feedback on important issues or reports.
  • Evaluating and Re-evaluating: Evaluation can present an opportunity to share knowledge and information between managers and employees. Both sides could learn and benefit from evaluations and identify points to work on in the coming year.
  • Succession Planning: It is vital to manage succession planning well for a new employee to pick up the ropes from where he is beginning rather than fumbling along the way. This is beneficial for both the employee and the organization.
  • Studying, Analyzing and Establishing Different Learning Styles: People’s different learning styles can have a bearing on cross-generational knowledge transfer. Similar is the case with technological advancement which is important to tide over these differences to harness knowledge and transfer it into an efficient knowledge management system for future reference and use.
  • Conventional Methods of Knowledge Transfer: These popular methods include formal education and training, interviews, mentoring, apprenticeships, simulations and games, peer assists, research blogs, conferences, knowledge elicitation interviews and story-telling.

Receiving tips in IM (instant messaging) may be preferred by the younger generation rather than pre-arranged meetings with their mentors. Blogging on different topics is an effective way for knowledge capture which can be used by others. Apart from IM and blogs on the Intranet, the use of Wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds and virtual realities are technologies that can be extensively used for knowledge transfer.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • The post is an informative one.However it has not emphasized on the importance of record keeping and codifying available knowledge. This can only be done through updating SOPs, creating new SOPs,converting tacit to explicit knowledge, maintenance and updating of archives.
    It also involves codification and internalization of norms values and the prevailing culture of the organization among all employees.
    Another important aspect of knowledge sharing and transfer is the value of learning from past history not only of our own organization but also of other organization- bringing in the culture of “passing it on”

  • B M Gupta

    What is written is right way.Every organisation is haveing its own need and ways and accordingly it can be programmed.

  • Jean L.

    In addition to the points mentioned in the article, I would suggest companies to establish 2-5 year long tutoring programs in addition to putting in place other “knowledge” tools. Too often do companies forget to prepare the succession of their senior executives. Mandatory tutoring programs where these executives are compelled to share their knowledge and experience with younger generations would greatly benefit both (!) parties as well as their companies. Intuitive knowledge, as you mentioned, is not something that you can easily be taught through books… It has to be properly “shared”.

  • Jacqueline M. Walters

    Indispensable talented-plus executives are aware of their careers life span. They achieve financial security, while building rewarding careers. They preserve their ranks/status within their organizations, throughout their career journeys.
    These passionate linchpins are committed to fullfilling their organizations business obligations to their customers. They create associate management programs, in which senior-level exectives, mentor/coach their junior counterparts for future leadership. They understand their industries’ trends, competitive dynamics, and customers challenges their organizations faces.
    When talented-plus executives retire, they feel a sense of career accomplishments. Knowing that have accomplished their organizations business mission statements. Their knowledge transfer is often upgraded, to meet the times and current business requirements.

  • Yuvarajah

    Yes, KM is ever more important than before in the face of how business needs to become nimble and agile.

    However, KM is harder than what most people think. Reducing process knowledge to is far more easier than capturing the tacit and intuitive knowledge that is build from experience, particularly learned from failures.

    Why go far, how many organisations have formal Succession Plans and reduced to common knowledge?. Everything seems P&C, how then do we build in trust to tap and store the “outgoing” Knowledge?.

    One way to address this would be rolling out Mentoring as part of the Management accountability and leadership development.

  • Rossen Roussev

    In my experience a “Senior Leadership Forum” works quite well. You establish a forum for the group the respective senior person manages. The person commits to ‘posting’ messages online related to his/her challenges, translates what company strategy means for his team, etc. and let’s employees reflect to that and ask questions. In a lot of cases some very good discussions take place where not only employees learn from the senior manager and start seeing things through his/her perspective, but the leader also very often finds what is and what is not working well within that part of the organization.

    Hope this makes sense.

  • shaja78

    hello,may i asking?
    what different knowledge transfer and apprentice?
    for my opinion it look same because in apprentice teacher or pioneer teach their apprentice till the knowledge can practice like workshop, welding job, baked house and so on..specific in knowledge transfer?can any body explain me?