We talked about the holdback that some employees experience when it comes to sharing their knowledge and I got many opinions on the matter, most of them pointing fingers at managers that don’t include collaboration aspects in their employees evaluation. I agree that this would be a nice incentive and that it would help with increasing the volume of collaboration actions, but there are some downsides to this practice.
First of all there is a risk of triggering false or bulky content. Knowing they will be rewarded for their participation, employees might try to promote themselves too aggressively, decalibrating one of the main benefits of knowledge sharing: facilitating the access to qualitative information.
Secondly, it would defeat its purpose if collaboration wouldn’t be a voluntary act. Collaboration can’t be a task. The gain is taking part in creating a collective knowledge base where everyone can turn to when faced with different professional quandaries. Including you.
So are incentives bad for making people communicate more about their expertise and know-how? Absolutely not! It’s how you employ it. You should definitely show your appreciation for their contribution and help them overcome their weaknesses, this is one of the 3 steps every social business leader should follow. Just be careful not to turn it into a competition and thus lose sight of the main benefits collaboration has to offer.
To assist you in this matter, we introduced in Quandora a gamification feature. People are getting all kind of badges according to their activities and this makes the process of collaboration much more fun. According to their organizational culture, we encourage our customers to stimulate their employees with other personalized incentives.
Happy Knowledge Sharing!