Working for a small business can be very exciting and rewarding. There can be great opportunity for growth both for the business and employees. I started working at ASI at the beginning of 2008 as a Client Services Analyst. Since then I have had five other positions including Conversion Leader and working in IDS On-Time. The opportunity to help start up IDS On-Time allowed me to learn how to create processes and documentation for the range of novice to experienced users. I have grown considerably in many ways professionally and technically.
There are other stories like mine through many of your institutions. I have been to a bank where the head cashier started when she was 19 as a teller. She held different positions in her time there and has a vast knowledge of the bank and procedures. I worked with banks through the conversion process where the primary bank contact for the project was the expert in all things from their Core vendor. When she was out there was no one else to take questions because she was the only one that knew. In Client Services we can tell if a key employee has retired or left the bank. In one instance the bank went days without doing certain operational processes because the staff person at that institution was no longer there. In many small businesses, there is a concentration of knowledge between relatively few people. Knowledge is something only humans possess and is an important intangible asset in today’s economy (Kucharska, 2019). One way to mitigate this risk is through communication and knowledge sharing.
Knowledge sharing is an intentional exchange of information or understanding between individuals or organizations. An open line of communication for peer-to-peer knowledge transfer can generate positive feedback (Blattner, 2015). Peer-to-peer knowledge transfer can also help to create backups for key employees. Generally, the effectiveness of knowledge sharing depends on the employees’ willingness to share what they know (Kucharska, 2019). Exchange of information benefits both the company and the employee. Employees can be out of the office without having to worry about work. The company incurs less risk by not having all its eggs in one basket. The exchange of knowledge can lead to internal promotions as people become more vested and knowledgeable in the business, not just in a backup capacity.
Knowledge sharing is not only technical information but includes the exchanging thoughts, experiences, and ideas (Kucharska, 2019). Exchanges can contribute to increasing productivity and innovation, enhancing the performance of the organization (Kucharska, 2019). These exchanges can also make the employees feel more engaged and valuable. Employees that only utilize their technical skills can feel like a tool for their manager or company. People like sharing their opinions and being listened to. Having thought provoking conversations with employees in which they can use critical thinking to apply their technical knowledge can be very rewarding for all. The employee feels appreciated, and invested in ideas that come out of those conversations. The company also benefits from the exchange in the form of new ideas, innovation, and improved employee morale.
Knowledge sharing helps individuals and businesses be adaptable and agile while helping to ensure continued growth. The exchange of knowledge looks different depending on where it comes from. Knowledge sharing from a company level takes the form of training (Hills, 2015) or meetings where you can brief employees on changes and ask them to share ideas and best practices.
What are some different ways you can encourage knowledge sharing in your business? Do all employees have backups? Do you have documentation to fall back on containing useful information and instructions on how to carry out key tasks? If you identify a lack of knowledge sharing in your company, offering incentives to come up with suggestions for improvement is often an effective way to get people to use and share knowledge. Consider holding brainstorming sessions or innovation workshops where staff have the freedom to make suggestions and encouraged to think of ways to improve the business. Knowledge sharing can benefit everyone in the company (Kucharska, 2019) in addition to minimizing the business risk of 10% of your employees holding the majority of knowledge.
1. Blattner, J., & Walter, T. J. (2015). Creating and sustaining a highly engaged company culture in a multigenerational workplace. Strategic HR Review, 14(4), 124-130.
2. Kucharska, W., & Bedford, D.A.D. (2019). Knowledge sharing and organization culture dimensions: Does job satisfaction matter?: EJKM EJKM. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 17(1), 1-18.
About Automated Systems, Inc.
Since 1981, Automated Systems, Inc. has been a leader in providing innovative core banking, digital banking, and data processing solutions to community banks nationwide. An array of integrated applications provide partnered banks with tailored, cost-effective, competitive choices. ASI delivers industry-leading technology backed by unparalleled in-house conversion, training and support teams; paving the way for progressive, top-notch customer service. ASI corporate headquarters are located at 1201 Libra Drive, Lincoln, NE 68512, 1.800.279.7312. For more information about banking solutions from ASI, visit www.asiweb.com.
About Insite Data Services
IDS data application hosting services combines secure and cost-effective core banking applications, enterprise-class servers and storage, and proven virtualization technology. IDS hosts all of the bank’s servers in secure data centers that use state of the art security systems including identity verification and biometric scanning. Insite Data Services also offers IDS On-Time, a full-service solution dedicated to back-office bank processing. These operations experts allow partnered banks to focus on their most important asset, their customers. For more information visit www.insitedataservices.com.