Knowledge transfer is the “process by which experienced employees share or distribute their knowledge, skills and behaviors to the employees replacing them.”[i] It’s vital for any organization and employee to effectively teach others how to take on others’ job responsibilities. Doing so will result in ensuring that an organization doesn’t lose any competitive and critical knowledge by an employee retiring or leaving. Correct knowledge transfer guidelines and strategies will help minimize organizational risk and expense. With that being said, here are three ways in which you can ensure that critical knowledge is successfully transferred.
- Create Structure
Creating organizational structure and formality will help employees clearly understand how the knowledge transfer process works. Creating documents, checklists, and templates will help clear up confusion, and make the organization feel more comfortable in knowing that their knowledge transfer process is thorough. Developing a clear workflow and objectives will make the entire process go much smoother.
- Blended Knowledge
It’s beneficial to have an open office atmosphere where employees can freely ask people in other departments questions quickly. This allows for some form of “impromptu” information and knowledge sharing, and is vital in keeping people posted on new initiatives, problems, important reminders, successes, and other updated information. A workplace culture of knowledge sharing boosts employee morale and puts all employees on the same page, instead of having exclusive and aloof departments that operate as silos.
Whether formal or informal, having some type of employee mentoring or shadowing can expedite the knowledge transfer process. As an organization, you can match less experienced employees with longer tenured employees who can provide a wealth of knowledge. An employee can also shadow a more experienced employee for some time to see how they go about their workday, and if they can pick up any helpful work habits.
Understanding that knowledge transfer is essential to your organization’s growth and development is the first step in transforming your bottom line. Take the next step by contacting TTA to get your organization on the path to success.