In Support, you’re constantly working on resolving immediate issues for customers. It’s your main task. Ticket by ticket, you go as fast as you can through the queue to see the end of the day.
This makes it very hard to pause, think and do things differently. Especially things whose positive impact builds up slowly over time, like a knowledge base. It requires discipline and tolerance for delayed gratification.
To adopt a knowledge-sharing mindset, a cultural shift needs to happen in your team. A culture that balances long-term thinking with short-term tasks.
Changing how people work is hard, but not impossible. You can employ similar methods to those used to change unwanted behaviours in children 🙂
Explain the why
This is crucial. Make sure the team fully understands why capturing and sharing knowledge as they work is important. If you can, use examples from other teams or companies.
Like with kids, explaining is not something you only do once. You need to keep explaining and repeating yourself for weeks or even months. Build up the argument as you progress and the real impact of having a solid knowledge-sharing practice starts to kick in.
Praise and reward
I think we underestimate the power of in the moment, honest praise. People want to make an impact: on the team, customers, company or world in general. If they think they don’t care, they lie to themselves. The more you highlight the impact they make on the shared team knowledge, on the customers and the business, the more likely they will continue the right behaviour.
Be a role model
In Romania, we have a saying: “Do what the priest says, not what he does”. Make sure this doesn’t apply to you. Take every opportunity to show your team how to do the right thing.
Work with them on this, side by side, as your time allows it. Capture and reuse knowledge at every opportunity, rather than asking other teams over and over or trying to re-inventing the wheel.