What do you do when an important member of your staff leaves the company? Do you have a system in place to capture that person’s knowledge to ensure it’s available to future employees?

What often ends up happening is that other employees scramble to gather as much information as possible before the knowledge keeper makes their exit.

But there’s a better way—one that helps you avoid that last-minute scramble.

Below, we discuss the importance of knowledge transfer, its challenges, and how you can revamp your process.

What is knowledge transfer and why is it important?

Knowledge transfer is the process by which experienced employees share their knowledge, skills, and expertise with other staff members. Its aim is to ensure valuable information is available to future employees.

Knowledge sharing is an essential part of any organisation’s long-term success. It facilitates learning, stimulates change, and builds decision-making skills. Figuring out and implementing a system that makes sense for your company can bring countless benefits.

The challenges of knowledge transfer

The problem with transferring knowledge is that you’re dealing with information that exists inside a person’s mind, so it’s often difficult to translate into words. This makes sharing knowledge within an organisation quite complex.

On top of that, employees are constantly being inundated with more and more information. According to David Derbyshire, the amount of data a typical person receives in a year is equivalent to everyone in the world reading 174 newspapers a day. With this level of information overload, the way you manage and share knowledge shouldn’t be taken lightly.

3 useful frameworks your team should consider

As organisations grow and expand, they tend to get more complicated and difficult to manage.

To help you out, we’ve put together some important lessons from the prolific consulting firm McKinsey that you can use to implement a successful knowledge transfer plan within your company.

The knowledge marketplace framework

A knowledge marketplace is an internal exchange platform for experts who supply knowledge and those who seek it. With several motivated authors producing and sharing high-quality content in a central location, knowledge seekers are able to get useful information from several sources.

When used properly, a knowledge marketplace has the potential to extend the reach of valuable information to everyone in the company as opposed to only a select few individuals.

The ACADEMIES framework

The ACADEMIES framework encompasses learning and development (L&D) strategies. It consists of nine dimensions:

  1. ** Align with business strategy. **Learning and development strategies should align with the strategies of the company.
  2. **Co-ownership between business units and HR. **Companies and L&D should be ready to build and adapt programs and business practices, especially as new technology emerges.
  3. Assessment of capability gaps and estimated value. Businesses need to determine their business priorities and assess which team members have the skills to accomplish these goals.
  4. Design of learning journeys. Different from traditional training, L&D should be carried out through ongoing learning opportunities including on-the-job coaching and digital learning.
  5. **Execution and scale-up. **To ensure the availability of resources and support for L&D initiatives, as well as scalability, an ongoing discussion with business leaders is crucial.
  6. **Measurement of impact on business performance. **The impact and effectiveness of L&D strategies should be measured through the utilisation of key performance indicators (KPI’s).
  7. ** Integration of L&D interventions into HR processes. **L&D should be well integrated into the HR agenda, playing an essential role in the employee journey, from recruitment to onboarding to promotion.
  8. **Enabling of the 70:20:10 learning framework. **70 percent of learning occurs in the workplace, 20 percent comes through collaboration with colleagues, and 10 percent happens via classroom training and other formal curricula.
  9. Systems and learning technology applications. Adapting to current technologies—such as learning management systems and mobile learning apps—should be front and center in every stage of L&D.

Coaching and mentorship

Creating connections between employees is an essential and effective part of knowledge sharing. Rather than relying on complicated reporting lines or top-down departmental structures, coaching and mentorship can facilitate meaningful learning and ongoing knowledge sharing by building strong relationships and links throughout the organisation. With regular personal interactions, the coach is able to equip the learner with skills as well as empowering them.

Although coaching and mentoring deliver important gains, they have to be a formal part of the organisation’s structure to be effective.

Put your knowledge transfer plan into action

Don’t wait until a key player announces their departure to come up with a knowledge transfer strategy. Create a plan based on the three frameworks described above to ensure the continued success of your organisation.

Elium’s knowledge sharing solutions give your team 24/7 access to the information that matters. With powerful search options and mobile apps, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to empowering your team.

Check out our 14-day free trial today to see how we can transform your knowledge sharing process.

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