Mr Reif Hoffman – co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn- once said: “Education is a highly social activity. Humans learn by modelling the behaviour and internalising the experiences of others. When people learn in social settings they retain information better.”
The experiences that we all acquire during our working activities and in general in life represent a great resource for business. Companies spend lot of money to provide education to their employees, by paying for corporate training and updating courses. They are aware of the importance of improving their employees’ competences and knowledge for the growth of their business.
But the positive effects of formal training could be strengthened by a practice which is way less costly: the experience and knowledge sharing. This is an activity that the companies should practice on a daily basis, which could exponentially improve the amount of information acquired by the employees. Some of the main advantages of knowledge sharing are:
- Cost-effective ongoing learning experience
- Ideal solution for employees who don’t absorb information well in a classroom setting
- Encourages employees to be leaders and teachers instead of knowledge hoarders
- Improves individual and team effectiveness
- Contributes to nurturing a culture of learning, sharing and collaboration above competition
- Enables employees to constantly improve their capabilities
This practice is also extremely useful when it comes to mentoring. The peer-to-peer nature of it, bringing different entrepreneurs exchanging ideas and information, allows contributing to create a fair relationship, where the psychological barriers are easier overcome. This practice is particularly suitable in the case of reverse mentoring when the old mentees may sometimes feel uncomfortable with the fact of being mentored by a younger entrepreneur, thanks to the knowledge sharing they feel rather involved in an informal exchange of information.