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Press Release

Only Half of Organizations Have Someone Responsible for Managing or Sharing Knowledge

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ATD research links knowledge sharing and knowledge management to a strong culture of learning.

(Alexandria, VA) July 7, 2020—New research from the Association for Talent Development shows that while most organizations have a formal or informal knowledge-sharing process in place, only half have a person or team responsible for knowledge management, a key component in driving trust and learning in organizations.

According to Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Management: Keys to a Culture of Learning, 44 percent of organizations have a formal knowledge sharing process and 53 percent have an informal knowledge sharing process. The remaining 3 percent of respondents said employees at their organization do not share knowledge with one another.

The report, sponsored by Allego, also found that only about half of organizations have anyone accountable for knowledge sharing or knowledge management: 49 percent have employees responsible for facilitating knowledge sharing and 54 percent of organizations have employees responsible for knowledge management.

The report found that top-performing organizations—those defined as having a strong culture of learning—were significantly more likely to have an individual or a committee responsible for knowledge management. Even if organizations cannot hire a dedicated knowledge management professional, they can still form a team or committee responsible for knowledge management and knowledge sharing.

“Knowledge management is so much more than people think it is,” Liz Herman, director of knowledge management at Senture (a customer care center based in Kentucky), said in the report. “It really requires a blend of IT, knowledge management, change management, and employee engagement to make it work. There must be leadership support, and there must be an understanding by the organization that knowledge management is not just one and done. To do knowledge management right requires an ongoing process and dedication to doing the work.”

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Other key takeaways in the report include:

  • Organizations were most likely to share knowledge within teams (76 percent) or within departments (55 percent) than in other situations, such as from senior leadership to all employees (37 percent) or across departments (22 percent).
  • The most common method for storing knowledge that has been shared was storing it in a knowledge management system or software, cited by 63 percent of respondents. Another frequently used option, cited by 58 percent of organizations, was to store knowledge in a learning management system. Fifty percent of organizations kept shared knowledge in an internal shared drive that houses files and folders.
  • Seventy percent of organizations shared knowledge after it was stored. The most commonly used means of organization, cited by 40 percent of respondents, was tagging it with relevant keywords to make it searchable.

The report cited that encouraging knowledge sharing can help employees develop a culture of trust in which they feel comfortable sharing knowledge with others. “If there’s no incentive to share information, especially in a tightly competitive group, people might feel like sharing is giving away an advantage,” Brett Patron, a knowledge management specialist at the United States Department of Defense, said in the report. “You need to cause people to recognize that by sharing information, they’re actually benefiting others.”

A free webcast is scheduled for July 29 at 2 p.m.

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About ATD
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees, improve performance, and help to achieve results for the organizations they serve. Established in 1943, the association was previously known as the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).

ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports talent development professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led U.S. chapters and international member networks and with international strategic partners.

For more information, visit td.org.

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