Maximizing Knowledge Sharing: Prioritize Best Practices

Eagle Point Software suggests how to enhance productivity by documenting best practices and fostering knowledge sharing in your organization.

Eagle Point Software suggests how to enhance productivity by documenting best practices and fostering knowledge sharing in your organization.

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If you want to improve knowledge sharing in your company, start by documenting best practices.

According to a 2018 study of workplace knowledge and productivity, businesses in the United States alone lose $47M each year as the result of poor knowledge sharing. This includes time lost from difficulty finding crucial information and time waiting for help from a more experienced coworker. These numbers are alarming on their own, but combined with recent organizational changes among workers—including the Great Resignation and the skills gap—they represent a major threat to the efficiency and long-term health of businesses around the globe.

Traditionally, organizational knowledge retention has been the most important in process-oriented sectors with steep training requirements, such as the Architecture and Engineering industries. But rising retirement rates among Construction and Manufacturing firms, combined with the low level of experience among incoming workers and the increasing prevalence of advanced technology, are making systematic knowledge retention and sharing practices more essential than ever before.

Here are five reasons to prioritize knowledge retention practices within your organization, and ways the LMS capabilities of Pinnacle Series can help.

1. All your employees can benefit from the best practices of your most experienced workers.

When an experienced worker leaves a company—whether to take on a new job or to retire—much of the knowledge they’ve gained over the years exits with them. These transitions can happen suddenly, meaning that if businesses do not take a proactive approach in retaining that knowledge, they may lose it for good. This alone is a compelling reason to invest in knowledge retention.

But there’s another, less obvious issue at play: if an experienced employee isn’t sharing their knowledge while still with the company, their coworkers miss out even before that employee departs. By investing in an LMS as a central repository of internal know-how, businesses can begin an ongoing initiative of capturing tribal knowledge and making it more accessible to their whole team.

2. Standardizing processes reduces the costs of mistakes and rework.

No one wants to make the same mistake twice—especially when a mistake can cost upwards of a million dollars to fix. Your more experienced employees typically know why a process is done a certain way—often through hard-won trial and error. These are some of the crucial skills that need to be passed on before they leave your company.

That said, even your most senior workers have to learn new te3. Documenting your processes helps you identify gaps or redundancies.chnology and understand its implications for your business. Incorporating their experience into your company processes can save expenses in wasted product, missed deadlines, and damaged customer trust. But bringing them up to speed on the newest technology can help them as well, by eliminating potential points of failure and improving communication across your team.

3. Documenting your processes helps you identify gaps or redundancies.

Another area where it helps to work with your most experienced employees to develop workflows is in identifying gaps and overlaps. These can happen any time workers make assumptions about how a process is handled—either by assuming a task is theirs to complete, or that it’s on someone else’s plate. Or, maybe a certain step is handled, but not at a point in the process where it would be the most efficient. You may not know until your top production managers are both in the room discussing their work.

In Pinnacle Series, our LMS includes tools to help users edit out training content or create courses of their own. But we also include a workflows feature that workers can use any time they repeat a task, to ensure all the training information is on hand and every step is followed.

4. Improved knowledge sharing reduces time lost waiting for key information.

Employees can lose hours of time waiting for a coworker’s attention, whether that be for a critical file, the answer to a question, or reviewing a process step. Centralizing that knowledge in an accessible location means workers can readily find what they need to know, and more experienced employees spend less time fielding interruptions.

As an online learning platform, Pinnacle Series not only helps retain knowledge—it places that knowledge at the fingertips of everyone who needs it. Your CAD manager can be setting the workflow standards in your office so that your on-site workers can check every box during production.

5. Formalizing explicit knowledge sharing creates a culture where implicit knowledge is more likely to be shared as well.

Knowledge sharing becomes more complex when businesses consider the differences in explicit and implicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge includes formal, standardized ways of doing things, whereas implicit knowledge encompasses soft knowledge that is harder to convey, such as which coworker is the most reliable person to ask for help on short notice, or a client’s preferred communication style.

By its nature, implicit knowledge is difficult to pin down. But since so much of it is about company culture, creating a shift in company culture around knowledge sharing itself can help employees become more aware of it and pass it on.

The LMS capabilities of Pinnacle Series remove the barriers to knowledge sharing.

Many businesses—especially those in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing industries which are at risk of losing precious experience as workers retire—should make it a priority in the coming years to document their best practices while those who understand them best are still with the company to offer their insight. The biggest obstacle to doing this has often been the lack of a useful or accessible way to store this information.

In this regard, Pinnacle Series is a game changer. Pinnacle comes fully loaded with premium content covering leading industry software, including AutoCAD, SOLIDWORKS, REVIT, Inventor, and Procore. These courses can be edited to include the experience of your team members, allowing you to capture that wisdom without having to start from scratch. And if you do want to create training materials from the ground up, our tools enable that as well.

Don’t let the hard-won experience of your most senior employees retire with them. Contact us today to learn more about how our platform can keep critical knowledge in-house.

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Bridging the Skills Gap in Manufacturing and Construction with Pinnacle Series
A Learning Management System (LMS) with a robust library of training content for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing industries can be a game changer in hiring and retaining skilled workers.
Investing in Success: How Training Programs Shape a Culture of Employee Retention
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Eagle Point Software Company Profile

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