By: Kyle Michel, Analyst
When trying to improve their organizations, companies often look externally for best practices to adopt. Although this is an important step towards self-improvement, it also means that companies frequently overlook one of their greatest assets: the vast wealth of internal knowledge they already have. Sharing internal best practices is a simple and low-cost strategy for improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing organizational knowledge.
Why aren’t more organizations taking advantage of this simple tactic? The answer usually boils down to one of three reasons:
1. Internal Competition
It is common to use internal rewards as incentives to increase productivity. Although this tactic encourages employees to work more efficiently, it also discourages the sharing of best practices and knowledge. An employee who shares such information risks losing a competitive advantage.
Siloing an organization may be a successful strategy for boosting efficiency, but it also makes it more challenging to share best practices. Interaction between employees and managers in different areas of the company can become limited or, even worse, disappear entirely. This, in turn, can lead to each section of the company developing its processes, resulting in a lack of awareness regarding the business’s overall operations.
3. Mergers and Acquisitions
Growth is excellent for a business, but new additions may continue operating as their own entities with separate processes and procedures. The more pieces that are added to an organization, the more fragmented it can become.
Thankfully, there are strategies for avoiding these pitfalls. Here are several tips for taking advantage of your own organization’s best practices:
1. Actively Encourage Sharing
Don’t assume that the sharing of internal best practices will naturally occur. Leadership needs to take an active role in encouraging employees to share best practices, as those practices won’t spread on their own.
2. Set Aside Time
Schedule a regular meeting for employees or managers from different areas of the company to convene and share best practices. Having a dedicated time to share ideas and successes can ensure that your organization’s best practices become common knowledge.
3. Make Sharing Beneficial
Create a rewards system for sharing and utilizing best practices from other areas of the organization. This is a creative tactic that can be used to significant effect. If you want to see a successful example of this, click here.
Be sure to inform your employees about new internal developments. Leadership should take note of best practices within their areas and share these with the rest of the organization, perhaps by using a blog shared on an internal site or posting an article in a regular company newsletter. Think of ways that you can leverage your current internal communication systems to share best practices throughout your company.
Are you currently using your organization’s various practices to their fullest potential? Before looking outwards for successful practices, it’s worth considering whether you already have the tools and skills needed for improvement hidden away in your organization.