What’s preventing knowledge sharing in organisations?
Our thoughts from smilelondon

This week – we’re in London! We popped over the Channel for smilelondon this morning – one of the UK’s most exciting conferences that brings people together to discuss social media in the large enterprise. With over 200 guests, we really enjoyed chatting with organisations about the challenges they’re facing, and how to overcome them.

The day started with keynote sessions from Larraine Solomon, Head of Communications & Engagement at Monster, Penny Grivea, Managing Director at Rituals and Brian Ackermann, Chief Information Officer at Korn Ferry. It was great to learn more about how knowledge sharing can help any organisation, regardless of the industry or mission. Later, we facilitated a couple of table sessions, moderating discussion on the challenges facing organisations as they implement their knowledge sharing hub, and the best practices which can be used to help overcome them.

What are the challenges facing knowledge sharing?

It was clear that organisations are struggling with engaging their employees, and providing relevant content to entice them onto their platform. Many attendees were critical of their organisation having multiple platforms, or locations to find information. One in particular had as many as 21 different locations – including folders and dropboxes, emails, intranets and platforms. They described these as ‘higgledy-piggledy’ (there’s a new britishism for you!) – all over the place, with often duplicated information across many sources, shared ‘just in case’ it was needed. Organisations really need to consider what is useful to share, and what isn’t, to define where the best place for their content is.

The topic of driving engagement on content was also raised, with many guests implementing weekly or monthly digest emails in order to direct employees to the platform. For this to work, however, this content needs to be engaging and relevant, otherwise these emails will fall to the bottom of their employees’ inbox, and the platform will seem even less important to them. Relying on email is also a controversial means. For organisations with young knowledge sharing platforms, it’s beneficial to think of employee engagement as a slow burn, with a snowball effect – once an employee is engaged, they will see the benefits of the platform even more and their use will build and build. So it’s important to maintain relevant content from their first step in the door.

So, how is best to engage employees?

Users do not have the time or attention for irrelevant, boring content.

Steve Crescenzo

Later in the day, Steve & Cindy Crescenzo joined the discussion, with insights from the employee communications master class they offer, which encourages enterprises to ‘do less and do better’ with their communications, based on strategic research and a focus on creating truly engaging content. They recognise that users do not have the time or attention for irrelevant, boring content.

Their advice? To think like a marketer – consider who you’re communicating to, and what’s relevant to them. Much like in our blog post – they recommend being creative with your content title, making content simple and concise, and banishing corporate speak – be personal and be real. At the end of the day, we all want to see transparency in our workplace.

And of course, we had a lot of fun. We brought with us our hoverboards from the office and gave one away. Here’s a few photos of guests giving the hoverboards a go, and our winner, Roland Burton from Marks & Spencer. Congrats Roland – have fun wherever your hoverboard takes you!

We’d like to thank everyone who joined us and made the day so much fun. We hope you learnt a lot (not just how to hoverboard!). Check out some highlights from our day on Twitter and let us know what you think over there!