As marketers, we work in a team environment. At DMN3, for instance, we thrive on a collaborative structure. As the saying goes, “none of us is smarter than all of us.” In other words, when you pool intelligence you get better results and exceed expectations. You’ll agree that a truly collaborative environment is one where everyone feels comfortable enough to share their knowledge and expertise. So, how do you inspire this free flow of information?
Two Obstacles to Knowledge Sharing
The first step is to eliminate two of the biggest barriers to knowledge sharing.
1) Fear of Rejection
Fear of rejection is a common barrier to sharing knowledge. If employees perceive that their ideas will be rejected, they're less likely to share. Eliminate fear of rejection by showing more appreciation to those who do share their knowledge.
2) Hierarchical Structures
The second problem is related to the first. Fear of rejection is most prevalent in hierarchical environments. If you want your team members to contribute, start by creating an atmosphere where everyone feels equally valued. Encourage employees to speak up in brainstorming sessions.
How to Inspire Employees to Share Information
Now that you’ve identified two of the biggest obstacles, consider these three methods for creating a knowledge sharing environment.
1) Provide a Knowledge Sharing Platform
Provide a platform for employees to share and collaborate. If there’s a place or forum where people can share information easily, people are more likely to contribute. The forum could be internal or external. Some people will be encouraged to share ideas internally like posting a file to an FTP or sharing a thought in a debrief meeting. Others might like the challenge of writing for a public facing channel like a blog or social post.
2) Inspire with Your Leadership
As a lead marketer, it’s your responsibility to lead by example. If you want people to be involved, show them by doing it yourself. Coming up with original content ideas can be challenging, so give some examples or best practices to help your people collaborate more easily.
3) Reward Employees
From a congratulatory email to a prize for free lunch, a little reward can go a long way. Eventually, people will take pride in their work. The ownership over original content and new ideas will be satisfaction enough. However, you might have to nudge your team a bit by sweetening the deal with prizes. This helps kick-start the process and sustain the momentum in the long-run.
The Bottom Line: You have to lead by example, set the tone and reward your most passionate employees for sharing knowledge.