Knowledge Transfer

What is a KT session or knowledge transfer?

Knowledge transfer, usually called a KT session is a method of sharing knowledge from one entity to another. It is simply the process of distributing information, ideas, or sharing skills among individuals, teams, or organizations. It can also include external parties who are interested in the knowledge.

The KT meaning in work usually coincides with a formal session or program. But, a KT session can be anything from a casual water cooler conversation to a mentoring process or workshop.

Often, you will see the term “KT” being used to define the knowledge transfer from a (soon-to-exit) employee to those taking ownership of the former’s existing projects.

Why is knowledge transfer important for organizations?

Knowledge transfer is important for an organization to maintain knowledge consistency. It ensures that information is shared and retained within a team or the company. Here are some of the more specific advantages of KT sessions:

Improves organization’s processes

Sharing knowledge within an organization improves its performance by making processes smoother and strategies smarter. Employees become more valuable as they gain experience and share their expertise with other individuals or groups.

Identifies knowledgeable experts

KT sessions are often successful in recognizing individuals within an organization who possess valuable expertise and experience. Such employees play a crucial role in guiding and supporting the transfer of knowledge to their colleagues. This contributes to the organization’s overall effectiveness and success.

Simplifies onboarding

Knowledge transfer simplifies the onboarding process by efficiently sharing essential information and skills with new employees. It helps new hires become productive faster and ensures that they have a smoother transition into their roles while in the loop with the organization.

Eases decision making

KT sessions in work improve decision-making by allowing organizations to effectively share and use valuable insights. It’s not just about sharing knowledge but also about integrating it into decision-making processes. This ensures that important knowledge isn’t lost when employees leave and is preserved for long-term benefit.

Develops individual talent

Allowing employees to participate in a knowledge transfer can hone skills and expertise for both the partakers. Such training & development prepares individuals to gain knowledge of specific subjects which in turn benefits talent management.

What are the types of knowledge transfer?

Two types of knowledge transfer are carried out in the workplace. They are:

Explicit

Explicit knowledge transfer contains information that is formally stored to be passed on to individuals or teams in an organization. It can include procedure documents, product knowledge decks, formal manuals, or other documents. These can be easily shared, are quantifiable, and do not need much hand holding.

Tacit

Tacit knowledge transfer is a more personal form of information sharing where there is real interaction between the partakers. It includes mentoring, guiding, holding workshops, coaching, etc. It is given by employees with prior experience on the subject with relevant skills. Due to its intuitive nature, such KT cannot be codified or easily contained in fixed structures.

What are the different methods of knowledge transfer?

There are two main methods of KT depending on employees’ different types of participation.

1. Exploration-oriented

This method of knowledge transfer ensures smooth learning and adoption of new systems at work, with experienced users guiding others along the way. It includes the following steps:

  • Training new users to get through the system.
  • Actively participating in setting up the system using user guides during implementation.
  • Test the system to make sure it works as expected.
  • Share knowledge gained while working on the system.
  • Continuing to configure and share knowledge even after the system is up and running.

2. Instruction-oriented

Instruction-oriented KT sessions are like having a professional team set up a new system at work while a few experienced employees oversee the process. These experienced people don’t actually do the setup but make sure everything is done right.

Then, everyone gets trained on how to use the new system by the professionals. Even after it’s up and running, they’re there to help if anyone has questions. It’s kind of like having experts build something for you and then showing you how to use it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the benefits of effective knowledge transfer?

Some common benefits of effective knowledge transfer are:

  • Build collaborative knowledge
  • Increase the speed of training new employees
  • Structure the training process better
  • Reduce unnecessary communication
  • Save time and effort in distributing information
  • Improve decision making
  • Make problem-solving easier

2. What are the common challenges faced in knowledge transfer?

Some common challenges faced in knowledge transfer are:

  • Communication barriers.
  • Resistance to change.
  • Lack of documentation.
  • Time constraints.
  • Knowledge hoarding.
  • Technological limitations.

3. What role does technology play in facilitating knowledge transfer?

Technology has been essential in making it easier and faster to share and transfer knowledge. Online tools, social media, systems for managing learning, and platforms for organizing knowledge are some ways that tech helps employees share knowledge.

4. How can organizations measure the success of knowledge transfer initiatives?

Collecting feedback from employees who have participated in a KT session is one way to measure the success of knowledge transfer initiatives. Another way is to evaluate the new hire’s learning by asking questions or setting up quizzes to understand the effectiveness of the KT.

 

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