There are lots of ways to measure knowledge sharing. When I first started in knowledge management nearly 20 years ago, we spent our attention measuring quantity. How many knowledge articles did the team create this past week? How many of them were viewed by someone outside the team? All of us in knowledge sharing have learned a great deal from this early approach. Lots of repetitive or low-quality knowledge isn’t useful. Huge repositories where little, if any knowledge is easy to find are worse than no repositories at all.
To truly measure the effectiveness of knowledge sharing in your team, you need to look at several different measures, not just one. Over the next several days, we will be describing five of our favorite measures.
The first is staff engagement
Staff engagement doesn’t have anything to do with how the team does its work. Rather, it is if the team understands why it is doing the work. Do they understand how finding, reusing, enhancing and building knowledge benefits them? The people who consume their knowledge? The entire organization? Do they understand how changes to the way they do their work supports access to knowledge when and where it is needed?
If we look at knowledge-sharing practices through the lens of behavior psychology, then this measure is all about the motivation to share (not the ability or trigger for sharing). It’s a proxy for buy-in. Not perfect, but a sense of how well the organization understands why they are sharing knowledge. We can improve the organization’s buy-in through consistent communications and well-framed training.
But we measure staff engagement through surveys. Frequent touch-points to see whether the team understands the “how”.
Here are a few questions to jump-start your survey
- I feel comfortable sharing knowledge now with colleagues – 1-5
- I understand why it is important to share knowledge effectively– 1-5
- I know how sharing knowledge benefits me – 1-5
- The leadership team supports sharing knowledge across the organization – 1-5
- The processes in our organization make knowledge sharing across the organization easy – 1-5