How Scribe helps you overcome knowledge-sharing challenges at the workplace
Friday evening. You’re at the office, trying to catch up on the pending work.
You ask yourself, where did all my time go? Only to realize most of your work week was spent on meetings and helping coworkers.
Your time sunk into the depths of collaborative overload.
Yes, it’s real. McKinsey found that 42 percent of a person's work week is spent checking emails and collaborating with team members. And while helping team members is essential and has many benefits, you must make the time to complete your own tasks.
In that sense, understanding knowledge-sharing challenges and exploring solutions will empower you and your team members to help each other without sacrificing the time for solo work.
To help you achieve that, we’ll look at the challenges that make knowledge sharing difficult and ineffective. We’ll also explore how knowledge-sharing tools like Scribe helps you overcome these challenges.
- Barriers to knowledge sharing in organizations
- How to overcome these knowledge-sharing challenges
- How Scribe facilitates effective knowledge sharing
- Final Thoughts: Overcome knowledge-sharing challenges at work with Scribe
Barriers to knowledge sharing in organizations
- Remote work environment.
- Not enough time.
- Lack of motivation.
- No standard operating procedures.
- Communication and cultural barriers.
- Unsupportive organization culture.
Let’s dig a little further into those knowledge-sharing challenges.
1. Remote work environment
After the 2020 pandemic, many organizations moved to remote work. A Buffer survey backs that up, showing that 72 percent of the 2,000 surveyed employees are working in remote or remote-first environments in 2022.
The reasons why knowledge-sharing activities in a remote working environment might pose a challenge include:
- Explaining complex ideas without face-to-face interaction is tough.
- Lacking informal spaces like breakout areas for a spontaneous flow of knowledge.
- Having technological barriers that make online knowledge sharing difficult.
- Attempting any remote knowledge-sharing efforts often goes unnoticed by senior management.
Moreover, it’s hard for remote employees to feel like they’re part of the team. As a result, they’re less likely to approach colleagues for help.
2. Not enough time
Helping others requires some sacrifice — although helpful, you're using up time and effort you could use elsewhere. And it isn’t without its side effects, too. After all, juggling a hectic work schedule while helping others increases the risk of burnout.
Mentors often feel exhausted and frustrated when:
- They need to share the same information repeatedly.
- They don’t have efficient knowledge-sharing tools.
- There are no proper knowledge management practices.
Add that to the whopping 25 minutes it takes a person to refocus on work after an interruption, and you’ll have a complete recipe for disaster.
3. Lack of motivation
Everyone wants a work environment that appreciates their efforts. And knowledge sharing is exactly that, an effort. Employees are less likely to share knowledge when:
- Knowledge sharing has no tangible benefits (e.g., rewards).
- Organizations don't recognize their knowledge-sharing efforts.
- Organizations don’t nurture a collaborative culture (more on this later).
4. No standard operating procedures
Confidence plays a significant role in getting people to share knowledge. A mentor who isn’t confident about the processes they follow might be more reluctant to share them with colleagues.
Or worse — they might share their own version of these processes, compromising operations and potentially leading to compliance issues.
That’s why having process benchmarks and standard operating procedures is crucial to boost employee confidence and, in turn, ensure organizational success.
5. Communication and cultural barriers
You can't share knowledge without effective communication. But communication as a concept isn’t so simple. We all face different contexts and perceptions of what’s appropriate or isn’t communication-wise.
- New employees could be more reluctant to approach other team members.
- Employees could be less likely to approach the company’s subject matter experts under strictly hierarchical organizational structures.
- Some employees may even perceive asking for help as a sign of incompetence.
And that’s without accounting for the more tangible elements like language. Language can be a knowledge-sharing barrier in organizations with teams spread across the globe.
6. Unsupportive organization culture
As mentioned earlier, some organizations don’t nurture informal training and knowledge sharing. For example, companies that foster unhealthy competitive environments will likely run into practices that hinder communication.
An unhealthy competitive corporate culture can result in:
- Lack of trust among colleagues. Distrust prompts employees to hoard knowledge for competitive advantage.
- Resistance to change. If no one is sharing new knowledge, why would you?
- Leniency toward others’ bad habits. Things are getting done, but not correctly — and no one’s there to tell them otherwise.
The recurring theme? No one’s talking, and the quality of the work is dipping.
How to overcome these knowledge-sharing challenges
Yes, knowledge sharing isn’t without its challenges. But when teams overcome these challenges, they start seeing myriad benefits.
An effective knowledge-sharing culture can help your team in many ways. It can:
- Facilitate fast and stress-free learning.
- Provide quick solutions.
- Make decision-making easier.
- Build better relationships within teams.
- Break down knowledge silos.
- Prevent the loss of organizational knowledge when employees leave.
Below are some tips to help solve knowledge-sharing challenges in your team/organization.
Respect the mentor’s time
Informal knowledge-sharing often happens spontaneously. However, some planning can save the mentor’s and learner’s time.
- Set a plan before the knowledge-sharing session.
- Have hard limits on how long online meetings are.
- Designate time for questions — such as a standing meeting.
Blocking time on your calendar for solo work will ensure you don’t fall behind on your current workload. Moreover, setting specific times to respond to emails and chats is helpful.
If you find yourself sharing the same information repeatedly, creating knowledge-sharing documents will also save you time.
Reward and appreciate knowledge sharing
Knowledge-sharing efforts shouldn’t go under the radar. Organizations can motivate employees to help each other by providing recognition or incentives.
For example, team leaders within an organization could set informal training goals and track them to encourage and reward knowledge-sharing behaviors.
Note that rewards don’t have to be monetary. In most cases, team- or company-wide recognition will be a great motivating factor for employees. However, organizations shouldn’t let that stop them from exploring reward options more tailored to the employee’s interests.
Nurture an organizational culture that supports knowledge-sharing
Organizations need to build a culture of collaboration rather than competition. Make it easier for new and junior employees to approach senior team members.
For instance, creating informal spaces and events everyone can attend, regardless of seniority, will help team members interact and build rapport. You can even use team collaboration apps to help remote workers communicate informally and share knowledge.
Moreover, sharing the organization's mission and values with the employees helps teams act as a community of practice where every member works towards a common goal.
These shifts in organizational culture and employee mindset will help create an environment where sharing is, indeed, caring. That said, the weight of that shift will always burden employees unless you support it with effective knowledge-sharing tools like Scribe.
How Scribe facilitates effective knowledge sharing
Explaining the same thing multiple times will waste a mentor’s time and can lead to burnout. That’s why creating knowledge-sharing material can be an excellent solution.
However, mentors hesitate to create resources for many reasons, including:
- Lack of time.
- Lack of technical know-how to create effective material.
- Knowledge-sharing material is difficult to share.
But with Scribe, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Scribe features enable effective knowledge sharing
Scribe is the perfect tool to help you overcome the challenges of knowledge sharing in the workplace. Scribe enables you to create diverse knowledge-sharing materials like:
Scribe empowers you to share knowledge effectively by letting you:
Create a step-by-step guide
With Scribe, there’s no need for repetition — you just need to walk through your process once. Scribe will record and convert your workflow into an excellent step-by-step guide that your team members can reuse.
You can also add your touch and make these guides engaging by:
- Including screenshots.
- Adding descriptions to your steps.
- Including hyperlinks.
- Adding tips and alerts.
- Including fun gifs.
For instance, the next time someone asks you how to connect Google Calendar to Zoom, you don’t have to dread the inevitable explanation. Instead, create a Scribe and share it whenever someone asks.
Facilitate offline learning for remote teams
Sharing knowledge across remote teams isn't easy. And the constraints become more evident when explaining things without face-to-face interactions. You just can't walk people through as you normally would.
And we haven't even addressed the biggest elephants in the room — connectivity and consistency-related communication issues.
With Scribe, you can overcome these hurdles by keeping your knowledge sharing offline. Moreover, you get to walk users through step-by-step, which is just as effective and engaging as explaining things face-to-face.
Let's say you want to teach your teammates how to create a SharePoint site. It's as simple as creating a Scribe to demonstrate it in less than a minute.
Ease knowledge management
People often create knowledge-sharing material, but these documents remain with the individual. That means the material, more often than not, will be lost if the employee leaves the organization. And when it isn't lost, it might be in a difficult format to store or share.
Scribe helps you build a knowledge management system by organizing your knowledge-sharing material in shared workspaces. You can assign multiple owners to each workspace so that the knowledge isn't lost when someone leaves the organization.
Moreover, Scribe Pages lets you create comprehensive guides containing information in multiple formats: Scribes, images, videos and hyperlinks — all in a single place.
Here's an example of a Page in action. We took several Scribes that help users get started with Sharepoint (including the one above!) and added them to a visual process doc.
Scribe also provides you with multiple sharing options:
- Through a public link.
- Through email.
- Embed the Scribe in productivity tools like Zendesk.
- Export to diverse formats like PDF, HTML or Markdown (comes with the Pro plan).
Get feedback and appreciation
Lack of motivation is a challenge for knowledge transfer at the workplace. Often, the knowledge-sharing efforts don’t get visibility in higher management. With Scribe workspaces, it’s easy to see how much effort a person puts into making these materials.
Scribe also allows your team members to leave comments on the knowledge-sharing material. They can even appreciate the mentor through claps on Scribes.
Final Thoughts: Overcome knowledge-sharing challenges at work with Scribe
Sharing knowledge with your team and helping them solve issues is the key to success. But you'll likely encounter one or more barriers to knowledge sharing in the workplace.
For instance, you may be discouraged from sharing knowledge due to the hardships of dedicating time to knowledge sharing under hectic schedules, the lack of organizational learning culture or rewards for collaborative efforts within teams.
But it doesn't have to be that way. You can build an effective knowledge-sharing culture by planning your time and using excellent tools like Scribe. Create your first Scribe in less than a minute. It’s absolutely free!