Benefits of Knowledge Transfer

Transfer of values

There are always some employees within the organization, who “stick out of the crowd” and possess extraordinary competencies that should be utilized, further developed and integrated into the leadership development programs. These people are called “high potentials”, who can become great leaders, if their talents are recognized in time.

Well structured Leadership Building Programs, having potential leader candidates is crucial to the health and future of every organization.

These talents need support, mentoring, tutoring in order to provide learning paths and exposing them to different areas of the business, developing their leadership skills, and ensuring they’re learning what they need to excel in prospective new roles.

Professional mentoring and tutoring programs are an effective strategy to allow talents to further develop, make them feel valuable, give them personal attention and guidance, which leads to nurturing an organization’s leadership chain. By connecting high potentials with leaders, top performers, and each other across the company, high potentials learn faster and are ready to take on leadership positions sooner. This results in improved engagement and a faster time to productivity, while leveraging internal resources, to keep costs to a minimum..

Sharing experiences

Supporting and helping employees obtain necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise is essential for any organization. Tutoring, mentoring and intergenerational learning is an effective approach to organize, develop, capture, and disseminate knowledge. These methods support the development of individual competencies as well as teamwork.  It also reduces the time required for knowledge transfer by providing direct access to a range of experts and peers who can share the required knowledge and skills in an environment that promotes rapid learning.

Since during these sessions, the learning is mainly informal or non formal, it allows direct knowledge transfer and quicker understanding and also supports situational skill development.  It shortens the learning process, enhances productivity, and helps employees adopt better to business strategy. In addition, it also allows seniors before retirement to pass on knowledge to new, younger employees by sharing previous experiences.

Building corporate culture

Corporate culture encompasses values and behaviors that "contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization". According to Needle, organizational culture represents the collective values, beliefs and principles of organizational members and is a product of such factors as history, product, market, technology, strategy, type of employees, management style, and national culture; culture includes the organization's vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, environment, location, beliefs, and habits.

Seniors play a key role in building and strengthening corporate culture. The years spent with the company, the experiences and internal connections formed and normed the company’s corporate culture. These are all a part of the everyday life of the company, how it operates, how internal communication channels are utilized and how working relationships are set up. In order to develop corporate culture, all corporate employees should take part in the process by sharing their experiences with others.


Strategies for Knowledge transference

Job shadowing

Job Shadowing is a strategy in which less experienced workers are paired with more experienced ones, in order to facilitate their learning through the knowledge of the experienced participant (Rothwell, William J. 2004).

Job shadowing is especially important in jobs or knowledge that require a more visual learning rather than a telling explaining; through job shadowing, it is possible to see and experience the actual working.

Creating a job shadowing program can be extremely complicated, since there are many points to take into account. The first one is to ensure that both parts understand the reasons and intentions behind this strategy; if it is not properly explained, experienced workers may think it is a way of kicking them out of their job position and they will not be willing to help the less experienced worker.

 Communities of Practice

Communities of practice are formed by people (in this case, employees of the organisation) who have similar knowledge or have similar work; they are a type of network in which they share and learn from the experience and knowledge of the rest of the community, creating a new form of knowledge sharing.

Communities of practice are very interesting as they allow experts of the same field learn about concrete issues related to their job, avoiding a re-learning of the same things. Additionally, they are proven to be positive for the company’s performance since they encourage the creation of new strategies and the solution of challenges (Wenger, Ettiene C.; Snyder, WIlliam M. Communities of Practice: The Organizational Frontier,2000 -

Another interesting point of communities of practice is that members are voluntarily in, and they select themselves. These groups do not have a fixed duration, participants decide how long to maintain the group.

Forming these communities is usually the members’ choice, but the company can promote that type of behaviour by facilitating ways to meet, such as online chatrooms or rooms in the office.

Activity 2: Community of Practice

Promote a community of practice

In the following exercise, you will have to follow different steps in order to promote the creation of a community of practice in the company you work at. In order to do so, please consider a concrete group of workers you believe would be positive (for them and for the company) to have in a community of practice (Pappas 2014).

  1. Determine the goals that the community wants to achieve
  2. Establish how they will communicate, or the infrastructures they will be able to use
  3. Be aware of the knowledge that each user owns
  4. Ensure that all members know each other; if necessary, do an introductory meeting
  5. Ensure a good moderator is part of the meeting
  6. Make sure meetings are regular: set a time
  7. Offer solutions for the participants to be in touch
  8. Ensure they have access to anything they need: which objects and tools would they have to use?

Mentoring and tutoring

Mentoring programs are probably the widest known form of knowledge transfer in any sector. In some ways, they are similar to job shadowing; they include a more experimented person and a less experimented one. However, while experienced workers in job shadowing are usually older, in mentoring that is not necessary. Also, mentoring does not necessarily have to do with learning how to perform a specific job; it is more about learning a certain skill, ability, knowledge… which can be either job related (use a working machine) or not directly related (use a computer).

Mentoring has as well a lot to do with generational differences, since it can become a great tool for generations to teach one another the points that make them unique and especially relevant to the company.