Business success is largely dependent on your employees and the various skills, capabilities and experience they have to offer. With a competent and adaptable workforce, you can seize new opportunities and overcome the various challenges that are likely to come your way.
It’s important, therefore, to invest in your people and to ensure they’re constantly developing and learning new things.
There are various ways to go about this, and the good news is it doesn’t have to be an expensive, time-consuming or difficult process. In fact, you could find that simply encouraging the sharing of expertise and experience across teams has a big impact on capability levels across the entire workforce.
Benefits of sharing skills
Sharing skills allows processes to become standardised across an organisation, meaning all employees feel confident in using them and the client will get a consistent response to any queries they make. As situations evolve and improvements are made to procedures, they in turn will be shared amongst colleagues, driving the organisation forward.
This makes everything more efficient, communication more effective and a proactive approach to innovation endemic. Every hire has the potential to bring something new to an organisation and maximising this means disseminating their expertise to the whole team so that everyone is an expert.
When a member of staff moves on to their next opportunity, it should not be that their knowledge goes with them. Their ideas should continue to be present in the work of their former colleagues, who can harness them to grow both their own professional development and the standing of the business.
It’s easy to think that knowing something a colleague doesn’t will mean they hold you in high esteem, but sharing that knowledge with them will earn you more respect. Taking the time to carefully teach another member of staff a skill will prove to them you are a good leader and competent in your job.
This approach also opens up the potential for more collaborative working, promoting a climate where nobody is afraid of asking questions. Once a member of staff has been taught the fundamentals of a premise or technique, they may well be able to bring something new to the area and help to build an even better process going forward.
If there’s a shared knowledge base across a department, then there can also be a more even distribution of workloads. Everyone in the team can work towards completing projects without experiencing bottlenecks due to specific tasks only being able to be carried out by one or two people. This also helps to protect your workflow against absences, which can sometimes lead to projects grinding to a halt.
How to encourage collaboration
When it comes to encouraging collaboration, it’s all about company culture and dismantling strict hierarchies. Businesses that can recognise that newer employees may have skills that can plug gaps in the knowledge bank further up the company will do well. Ensuring everyone feels comfortable in sharing their ideas means the CEO being just as willing to learn as the most junior person in the office.
It’s important not to underestimate the skillsets of the next generation joining the workforce. They have grown up in a digital age and understand many modern platforms not because they have been trained in them but because they have lived with them and are therefore ingrained in their understanding of the world. Allow this to permeate your business and benefit from both new and old skills.