A Guide to Knowledge-Sharing Best Practices in the Outsourcing Industry
Sharing relevant information is the foundation of any successful business process outsourcing (BPO) operation. A successful Knowledge sharing in the outsourcing industry will result in a smooth flow of company operations and maintain areas for standardization, optimization, and automation improvement.
Customers just starting their outsourcing journey are likely aware of the importance of knowledge transfer. Still, they may lack insight into the planning phase, the specifics of knowledge transfer procedures, or the potential payoffs of establishing a foundation for continuous business process optimization.
Companies can save considerable support costs through labor arbitrage by outsourcing a "lift and shift" business process in finance, accounting, and other operations (moving business from potentially high-cost to low-cost locations).
Though saving money is always welcome, optimizing and automating business operations is crucial to the company's long-term success. Knowledge transfer planning is the key to achieving this.
What is Knowledge sharing?
The term "knowledge sharing" is used to describe the practice of communicating vital information about a company or a project among its participants. It's a method of "packing" your team's knowledge into readily accessible resources.
Here are multiple ways through which knowledge transfer happens:
- Manuals and Guides
- Code Repository
- Example-based research
- Anthology of Successful Methods
- Decision Trees
- Flow charts
Businesses with knowledge-sharing capabilities can guarantee that their employees have access to the data required to perform at the highest level. In addition, effective information sharing allows businesses to safeguard themselves against unanticipated personnel turnover. This is especially important because it helps prevent information losses.
After all, if scientists didn't share what they'd learned, they'd have to reinvent the wheel constantly. It was only via merging the findings of previous discoveries that they could make new progress.
Benefits of Knowledge Sharing in the outsourcing industry
The cohesiveness of your groups is an asset. Team members can share knowledge, learn from one another, and create synergy by being close. Things grow more difficult when you bring in new employees or onboard an entire team through an outsourced partner.
Relationships with your customer and your new specialists can be strengthened through proactive information sharing by:
- Help the team to understand the audience more efficiently and provide them with solutions to their problems as soon as possible.
- Careful documentation gives employees a repository of information they may mine for previously gained insights. In addition, since they won't have to recreate the wheel each time, they'll be able to save time and get more done.
- Inclusion for all team members, local and remote, is improved by centralizing information rather than relaying it verbally.
- Knowledge-sharing platforms simplify incorporating new data, ensuring that the information you have access to is always up-to-date. In this approach, we can be confident that everyone is always aware of the most recent developments and is using the most recent data.
5 best practices to create a Knowledge sharing culture
We can do more with less effort by combining resources and exchanging information. But, this activity calls for some thought. 75% of companies surveyed by Deloitte saw a positive correlation between knowledge preservation and future earnings. But only 9% of businesses say they're prepared to make knowledge-sharing a central component of their company culture.
Following are the no. of ways knowledge management helps you to make the knowledge sharing smooth and effective:
1. Start making a Knowledge sharing strategy
The strategy has to outline the fundamentals of the outsourced business process and the steps that will be taken to put it into motion. Identifying these crucial operations and support services is necessary from a practical standpoint. In addition, the benefit lays the groundwork for a long-term partnership between the outsourcer and the customer. As a result, customers' trust in the outsourcer's competence is bolstered, and they gain insight into any weak spots that may need special attention during the actual knowledge transfer.
2. Select the right tools for Knowledge transfer
The project's overarching objectives and the needs of each team or department should guide the process of knowledge sharing. You should start by answering the question, "How will you manage knowledge?" In what ways do you plan to expand your knowledge? How will you move your existing knowledge to the new platform, and where is it currently stored?
Following a thorough analysis of the problem, you can pick the appropriate tools. The following are a few critical features to look out for in a knowledge-sharing tool:
- Anyone can quickly and readily locate the desired data (e.g., there are clear categories, tags, descriptions, correct namings, etc.).
- While making knowledge-sharing assets, all workers can contribute to expanding and refining the body of project knowledge.
- It's easy to make changes to the content without compromising readability, usability, or findability.
- Changes can be made to the system's content, structure, and strategies with relative ease, making it suitable for use by various groups and individuals.
Knowledge management tools that are used for knowledge transfer enable staff members to share tacit information. The success of an organization depends on its capacity for knowledge transfer; hence the study analyses and reviews the best techniques for information transfer in knowledge-intensive organizations.
3. Eliminate knowledge hoarding
If employees are unwilling to share information, it won't matter how well you manage knowledge. Specialists, groups, and companies engage in knowledge hoarding when they fail to share important information with other team or organization members.
Here are a few tips to eliminate the standard knowledge hoardings:
- Distribute product road maps so everyone working on the project is on the same page. This will assist your outsourcing teams and specialists hit the ground running once they've joined the project.
- Knowledge sharing in the outsourcing industry is more than just a resource for filling capacity gaps; the relationship is mutually beneficial. Maintaining open communication with your outsourcing partner is essential for achieving optimal results. Unless you want to wait longer than necessary for responses to your new requests, knowledge sharing can better grow your teams or deal with the "slowdown" phase if we know your plans in advance.
- You should recognize team members who contribute information and share it with others by rewarding them. Create a leaderboard to track who has shared the most knowledge to increase engagement.
4. Gather relevant knowledge and organize it in one place
To avoid knowledge hoarding and ensure adequate knowledge is shared among employees, it is essential to organize the information correctly. This includes adding categories and subcategories to content pieces, relevant keywords for each knowledge piece, and meta tags with content pieces to ensure they are readily available and accessible to employees.
Organizations must ensure the availability of relevant information in one place to avoid employees spending their precious time on information search. By interlinking different content pieces that an employee may need to solve a particular problem, companies can ensure that employees do not toggle between screens to gather relevant information. Knowledge sharing becomes simpler when information is accessible to employees in a suitable knowledge base.
5. Continue to share knowledge and communicate proactively
Communication that is timely, open, and proactive is what information sharing is all about.
The in-house and outsourced staff should be included in all discussions that pertain to them. However, outsourcing teams/specialists may feel left out of communication due to distance and time issues, inclusion later in the project, and a lack of available knowledge about the processes.
Here are some tips to encourage knowledge sharing in your organization:
- Give staff members a variety of channels for knowledge sharing. Each employee will thus have the freedom to decide which approach best suits their personality and talents.
- Reserve time weekly for staff members to share and offer expertise; this will help it become a habit.
- Have a weekly team gathering to discuss the previous week's learning and any noteworthy resources discovered.
- Hold regular retrospective sessions so staff members can discuss the potential areas for growth.
- Implement a knowledge management platform for intelligence that can give users access to knowledge and skills in real-time.
- Consider holding meetings and events away from the office to inspire your coworkers.
People are typically hesitant to make an extra effort to impart their knowledge to others. Therefore, it takes time and hard work to establish a culture of Knowledge sharing in the outsourcing industry. With the help of an efficient system to manage and share knowledge, you may recover the time wasted on pointless meetings, "requests for information," and waiting for responses, which results in better team performance, customer experience, and enhanced ROI.