Implementing an effective knowledge transfer system will save your business time and money in the long term. That may sound like a bold statement, but it is true.
What is Knowledge Transfer?
Let’s begin this discussion with a look at what knowledge transfer is – and what it can do for your business.
Many of us would agree that we are in an information economy. Information is money to many businesses, even if it’s simply email information. Having special knowledge of something can help your business find an undiscovered niche and grow into new markets.
While we understand the importance of knowledge on a large scale, many business owners don’t think about this piece on a smaller scale. That is, within their business.
Often, specialized knowledge is imparted to employees by the business owner on an “as needed” basis. This means that, when that employee leaves, the company owner is responsible for providing that information again. And again. And again. They are stuck with the job of knowing everything and telling the appropriate people about that information.
Wouldn’t it be better and more efficient if already-trained employees shared information with incoming staff? In fact, wouldn’t it make more sense to create a system around the exchange of information that is self-replicating, consistently updated, and easy to access?
That is what knowledge transfer is all about.
How Can Implementing a Knowledge Transfer System Benefit Your Bottom Line?
Implementing a knowledge transfer system is time-consuming, as is the addition of any organizational tool to your company’s tool kit. So, why is it worth all of the time and effort?
Here are just a few ways that a robust knowledge transfer system will benefit your bottom line:
- Onboarding is simpler, with more departmental knowledge accessible to new hires.
- As your business expands, in-depth information documentation allows long-term employees to train new assistants and associates with ease.
- Vital knowledge does not walk out of the door when an employee moves on to another company or retires.
- Consistency within your business will provide a better experience for your customers.
- Your exacting standards can be replicated throughout your business when the knowledge of how and why things are done is fully defined.
- Presidents, CEOs, and business owners can take time off without having to answer questions or remain available in case vital information is needed.
In short, a knowledge transfer system saves time and increases efficiency within your organization. It also saves money as customer satisfaction rates soar – and it gives the business owner peace of mind.
How to Make Knowledge Transfer Part of Your Company Culture
One of the barriers to creating an efficient knowledge transfer system is the idea that hanging onto information will provide job security for an employee. In some companies, this is true. However, if you want to put an effective knowledge transfer system in place, then you will have to do two things:
1. Eliminate the threat of job insecurity due to knowledge sharing.
2. Find out what aspects of knowledge transfer would actually benefit your employees.
Step 1 is often resolved by creating more organization within the company, and by setting up top-down knowledge transfer systems. That means that you, the business owner, need to share your specialized knowledge first.
Another way to reduce this threat is by creating a clear system for career paths. This shows employees that you are serious about retaining them and value their skills and seniority at your company.
Step 2 is accomplished by having conversations with employees. For example, one of our clients had a staff that was resistant to creating a knowledge transfer system. So, he talked with key staff and found out what they wanted. In this case, one of the most senior staff desperately needed an assistant to help him handle his increasing workload. The business owner shared that setting up a knowledge transfer system would make training easy – and allow the new assistant to get up to speed far more rapidly than if they came in with no system in place. That senior employee immediately began the process of creating a knowledge transfer system in his department, got his assistant, and the business grew from there!
Making knowledge transfer part of everyday culture is something you can do. You simply must find out how your employees (not just you) will benefit from this change and have real conversations about it.
Are you ready to set up a knowledge transfer system, but aren’t sure where to start? Contact Business Success Consulting Group today. We will provide a no-cost evaluation and work with you from there to organize and grow your company.