Thursday, January 9, 2020

Team Performance Problems: How to Handle Information Hoarding

A common team performance problem that I've encountered is that, over time, some team members become experts at solving certain types of problems.  The other team members turn to them for help when they encounter the issue.

This becomes an issue if the employees hoard their knowledge under the mistaken impression that it creates job security. Since only they can solve the problem, and there are only so many hours in the day, they become a bottleneck in the organization.

The answer is for managers and HR to encourage these workers to take the time to document and share their knowledge with their more junior co-workers.The way to sell it, is that it creates a win-win situation for everyone: the organization develops redundancy, can get tasks done in a timely matter, the junior associates build their knowledge / skills, and the experienced co-worker benefits too.

By sharing information, they enhance their expert reputation, and they are still the first ones to be approached when there are challenging problems in their areas.  At the same time, they are relieved of having to deal with more routine tasks.  The result is that the expert also grows in his job by shedding mastered tasks, and gets to work on interesting new problems.

© 2020 Praveen Puri