What is knowledge transfer? Each person entering the new organization as well as individuals that work for the company for quite some time bring their unique attributes to the work environment. A long-term employee can boast of extensive, concrete knowledge and work experience. Younger employees present various types of experiences derived from social activities and work for student organizations. Any employee can get a piece of new knowledge from another person as a part of the knowledge transfer. How to implement knowledge transfer in your organization and why it is important?

What is knowledge transfer – table of contents:

  1. Knowledge transfer in the organization
  2. How do transfer knowledge?
  3. Knowledge transfer equals development
  4. Constant knowledge transfer
  5. Summary

Knowledge transfer in companies

Knowledge transfer is nothing else but sharing knowledge. Everybody has knowledge acquired during the process of education (school, university, training) or through work experience. Knowledge transfer is the necessary element of the onboarding process. New employees have to be informed about all the basic procedures necessary to perform their work. Knowledge transfer is needed by the organization at all stages of employment.

Two types of knowledge can be passed during the knowledge transfer process in the organization: know-what – includes definitions, concepts, facts, descriptions, professional vocabulary, and know-how – sometimes called the secretive knowledge of the company, the term refers to the knowledge and practical skills necessary to perform the given activities (technical and non-technical, trade, marketing, financial) that are secret to external entities, identified and crucial for the realization of the task (necessary to distinguish between products of different companies). They include databases of contacts, strategies, and standards of customer service, used in everyday work methods.

Both types of knowledge present in the organization are important, but there is no doubt that know-how is more crucial for efficiency and desired business effects. On the other hand, the employees have no foundation without know-what, hence the employer has to transfer all types of knowledge to his employees.

knowledge transfer

How to transfer knowledge?

In the workplaces and organizations more and more frequently the emphasis is put on the realization of processes of complex knowledge management, which requires the establishment of transferring methods. There are two basic ways the realization that goal.

The knowledge can be passed directly from a person to a person (implicit or tacit knowledge) in any form of contact: face-to-face, telephone, mail, or video conversation. This type of knowledge can be used easily in smaller organizations, where individuals meet in the office, in opposition to huge corporations with numerous branches at home and abroad, especially in recent times of growing remote work popularity.

The second type of knowledge, explicit knowledge represents the information and experiences intercepted from somebody and coded in the specific form of a guide, lists of good practices, training material, instruction, FAQ, and many more. This type of knowledge transfer requires registering the knowledge in an easily understandable form and dissemination in an easily accessible place.

knowledge transfer

Knowledge transfer equals development

The main goal of knowledge transfer in the organization is the reduction of the gap between the theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge of the individual employee. Employees become more confident and capable during the performance of their duties. They require less control from the managing staff and grow their responsibility. Moreover, the organizational culture built on knowledge transfer stimulates innovation (by expanding the knowledge and skills of particular individuals) which influences the creation of new solutions for clients and the company development.

It should be stressed that more and more employees expect that the company will provide them with broad perspectives of development and will support them in learning new skills, which may assume the form of knowledge transfer in the organization, as well as the external training and courses. The process of knowledge transfer that is planned properly can be an attractive factor that distinguishes the brand on the job market and raise interest in the company among prospective employees.

Constant knowledge transfer

In each workplace, team, or organization there may be some barriers that hamper the transfer of knowledge. The reason may be personal (lack of confidence, lack of communicative skills) as well as the organizational culture of the company (lack of understanding of why knowledge should be transferred). Those barriers can be easily overcome with the help of transparent, clear communication (awareness is the first step to success) and corporate knowledge base, constant training, mentoring programs, and bonuses for knowledge sharing.

Stable knowledge transfer can be facilitated by different types of IT systems equipped with the right functions. An example of such a system is Firmbee, the project management system that allows the creation of a centralized cloud database that can include all sorts of information about the project: budgets, a database of contacts, documents, and contact details. A such repository is the easiest way to provide an access to knowledge for every employee and member of the organization.

knowledge transfer


Knowledge transfer in your organization is a crucial aspect of development. It is worth taking care of for the transfer of knowledge in the organization. This can accelerate the development of the company and be a response to the growing needs of employees. You can use various methods and tools for this purpose. Think, about which of them have the best chance to be useful in your company. Add those methods and tools to your everyday practice and observe the positive outcome of knowledge transfer.

Read also: When should you issue an invoice?

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.