Human capital is defined as the experience, the skills and the knowledge that employees use in their workplace to work efficiently and effectively. One of those very important aspects of knowledge i.e, tacit knowledge, is usually overlooked. Tacit knowledge is the sum total of a person’s beliefs, know-how, values, and experiences that help them achieve a better outcome at work. This tacit knowledge is often expressed as stories or anecdotes.
The biggest challenge that organizations currently face is the transfer of tacit knowledge to new employees. While it is very important for all organizations, it is indispensable for service organizations where the best performers are those who have learnt on the job.
74% of large companies have established online communities. Online collaboration forms the framework for socially constructed learnings. The social nature of these collaborative communities offers learnings from peer group through discussions. They provide great learning opportunities and ideas.
These take place through telephone, email or direct personal interaction, and is the best possible way to transfer tacit knowledge efficiently. These are particularly more effective because the knowledge shared here is very context-rich and can also be tailor-made to specific situations and the learners’ needs.
Storytelling is the “in thing” that allows free flow of tacit knowledge from an experienced person. The value of storytelling is best understood in the context of knowledge transfer. The human brain is wired to grasp stories easier than any other form of learning. In an organizational set-up, stories have the power to convert information into knowledge. Record and index stories from employees set to retire or move out of the organization. These can add tremendous value to the new employees who will be filling the position.
In this “working out loud” strategy, one has to narrate the work as he does it. One good example would be a surgeon using Google glass to walk through the intricate processes involved in surgery with his students.One can also record the entire task while doing it and add in the narrative at a later date. This would help people understand the tacit knowledge involved in the successful completion of the task.
Arrange for meetings and teleconferences between people in your organization. This can include training seminars, webinars, annual meetings, asset review meetings, project meetings or board meetings.
TacitKey helps organizational knowledge transfer through the creation and management of online communities. Organizations can set up their own learning communities on TacitKey, where they can conduct training, learn and share knowledge. By doing this, organizations will be able to create a free flow of knowledge amongst their employees. In addition, organizations can document such learning sessions and maintain them for anybody within the organization to learn from it.
The features of TacitKey Community, TacitCast, and Webinars will help organizations transfer tacit knowledge with ease. All you have to do is to pick up the right strategy that suits your organization the best and execute it well.
You do not have to necessarily restrict yourself to sharing your tacit knowledge within your organization. On TacitKey, you can also organize and promote events as well as courses that are open to the public. These help in showcasing the expertise of your organization. Not only that, they also serve as a source of revenue generation for the organization.
Give your organization a competitive advantage!
It is crucial for organizations to understand that their employees’ knowledge is their most valuable asset. Furthermore, it is important for them to plan out ways by which they can enable sharing of knowledge among employees and also record it for future employees. Documenting this tacit knowledge and making it available to everybody else within the organization gives the organization a competitive advantage.
What are the strategies employed by your organization to achieve efficient transfer of tacit knowledge? Which one of these methods do you think will be the most effective? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.