For a professional services firm, knowledge sharing is the very essence of strategic advantage! If human capital is the main resource, than knowledge sharing – along with its identification and capture – is the key…
One of the top reasons to ensure your professional services firm has a knowledge sharing platform is to capture valuable employee knowledge before staff leave your business. However, you can also boost employee retention with a knowledge sharing platform to create a ‘before and after’ solution.
In this way, your knowledge sharing platform works to secure internal knowledge by boosting employee retention and, if that fails, ensuring employee knowledge is retained. Methods to boost employee retention are becoming increasingly important too. Recent research on employee turnover by PWC identified Australia as last amongst 11 developed countries at 23% for staff turnover within 12 months.
So let’s examine how you can boost employee retention with a knowledge sharing platform.
Provide solutions for overwhelmed staff
One of the main reasons staff leave a business is simple job dissatisfaction. This often stems from employees feel overwhelmed.
Professional services staff are busy. They are both the product and the service to their clients. Increasingly, your employees are burdened with additional compliance, regulatory and safety requirements too, while being faced with increasing competition and more demanding clients. Technology is also quickly changing with employees continually having to learn new tools and systems.
A knowledge sharing platform firstly provides staff training to give your employees new ideas and knowledge. However, a standard online training platform can also do that. A knowledge sharing platform goes beyond a standard online training platform though. First, a knowledge sharing platform provides more than just training on how to do something. Because it can tap into internal expertise among your staff, it can also capture and share proven tips, expert tricks, rookie mistakes and all the little nuances which allow your top staff not just to complete a given task, but finish it faster, easier or better.
Second, a knowledge sharing platform can rapidly capture and share content on ANY key topic. Standard online training platforms lack content creation tools and instead rely on learning created by training professionals. This means you are typically stuck with general training topics which can’t be edited to suit your business. A knowledge sharing platform allows any of your staff to capture key knowledge on any topic – your documents, your processes, your systems, your value proposition. Topics which are ideally suited to your staff.
The result is more relevant topics filled with more useful information. Information which can provide perfect tailored, immediately useful and already proven solutions to overwhelmed staff. Ultimately, knowledge sharing and standard training are not at all the same thing.
Give employees personal development opportunities
Another key issue in employee job satisfaction is personal development. When staff feel they are no longer advancing in their careers, learning new skills or are otherwise ‘stuck in a rut’, they start to feel restless. They disengaged from their roles as they can no longer see anything to look forward to in the future.
A simple solution is to give staff access to new learning opportunities. Yet so many small to medium-sized professional services firms have no personal development or training plan for their staff. When they do, its often technical or compliance focused – training done to meet a regulatory requirement. This isn’t training designed to develop the skills or potential of staff. Employees know this. They see the organisation focused on training which is an investment in the compliance of the business, not an investment in the capabilities of the individual employee.
The situation can be even worse for non-client facing staff in professional services firms who are rarely offered any training at all. Support staff or administrative staff don’t need generic training in sales or client management. However, external training providers rarely cater to support staff for training. They simply don’t have training on back-office systems or all the internal processes which run your business.
By implementing a knowledge sharing platform which provides staff with a conduit into best practices, peer learning, customised internal topics and key personal skills, the business demonstrates to staff that their personal development is worth investing in. It allows staff to explore learning which engages them – learning they WANT to do, not learning they have to do. Staff can create and share topics on support, admin and back-office processes too.
Plus, for the business itself, a good knowledge sharing platform can also handle all training and assessments for compliance, technical and regulatory training.
Recognise expertise among employees
A key way to boost employee retention with a knowledge sharing platform is to empower your expert staff to capture their knowledge. When a staff member is recognised for their expertise by the business and their peers, it is hugely intrinsically motivating
When it comes to staff training, 99% of the time the training ‘happens to staff’. Employees typically attend training presented by some external consultant. If they are lucky, employees might be invited to share some ideas during the training, but largely they are participants. For experienced staff in your business, training can feel condescending.
Yet a knowledge sharing platform provides the perfect opportunity for expert staff to capture their knowledge and share it with others in your business. These staff are recognised by their business as experts in their field, and then recognised by their peers as having valuable knowledge to share.
This recognition its hugely important to many expert employees – and often completely overlooked. A knowledge sharing platform taps into all the social recognition from personal platforms like Facebook and YouTube. It captures that feeling of receiving ‘likes’ for your latest tweet but in a way which encourages teamwork and sharing within your business.
Create a culture of collaboration and teamwork
Which leads to the next major way to boost employee retention with a knowledge sharing platform: culture.
A knowledge sharing platform creates a community of learning. Staff teach staff. Experienced staff share with new staff. Knowledge is shared among teams, rather than teams withholding ideas to use as an internal advantage.
Cultural elements of innovation, collaboration, teamwork and continuous improvement are dramatically enhanced with a knowledge sharing platform. These are powerful cultural elements for employee retention. Employees which feel part of a team are far less likely to leave that team. Contrast that to employees who feel they live in a business where information is withheld and other staff use knowledge as a weapon – that’s not a culture which boosts employee retention.
A knowledge sharing platform breaks through silos and knowledge withholding. It becomes a major tool in reshaping business culture to one which boosts employee retention.
Boost employee retention and capture expert knowledge
With a knowledge sharing platform, you really can’t lose. First, you can boost employee retention with a knowledge sharing platform by…
- Provide solutions for overwhelmed staff by not just providing training, but providing context, tips, tricks and tacit knowledge to improve efficiency.
- Give employees personal development opportunities by providing training which is relevant, engaging and perfectly suited to them, including for support staff.
- Recognise expertise among employees by providing a platform for your top performance and motivated staff to be recognised by the business and their peers.
- Creating a culture of collaboration and teamwork by making internal best practices readily and widely available, and eliminating unhealthy internal knowledge hoarding.
Second, the use of a knowledge sharing platform provides insurance for when staff do eventually move on. By that point, their expert knowledge has been captured. And not just in a simple PDF document, but in a way which can be shared, updated and tracked with other staff for years to come.
Tribal Habits can address every one of these benefits. As the dedicated knowledge sharing platform for professional services firms, it has dedicated featured to rapidly capture expertise, recognise staff contributions, share knowledge on any topic to any staff in any location, and to do so in your own branding as you build a culture of collaboration.
For just a few dollars per employee per month, you could be driving business growth by sharing best practices, boosting employee retention to avoid huge costs in finding new staff, and creating a safety net of key knowledge for the future. It’s time to get your free trial started right now.