Safeguard our knowledge and expertise

Put simply, knowledge management is about managing ‘what we know’; this includes everything from our technologies and products, to our customers and markets. It can be in people’s heads, on computers or filed away in a cupboard. The challenge for any business is how to identify, hold onto, share and develop that critical knowledge to create competitive advantage. Our employee retention rates are high and something that we strive for as a means of keeping critical knowledge within our Business. We must recognise, however, that we live in a world where employees are increasingly mobile and the rate of innovation is growing. Keeping hold of the critical knowledge that helps to generate profit is more difficult, and more important, than ever and we can avoid knowledge loss as people retire or move on in their careers by being more effective in how we transfer our expertise.

We have a three point strategy:

1. Knowledge capture: Through our recruitment strategies and acquisitions, we aim to learn and grow in new areas

2. Knowledge retention: We look to recognise and reward employees with expertise, thereby helping to keep them and their knowledge in the Business. We use systems and procedures to protect knowledge as people retire or choose to work elsewhere

3. Knowledge sharing: Much of what we know is in our people’s minds or our processes. To ensure that we keep delivering outstanding service and innovation, all of our people need easy access to the insights and learning of our many specialists around the world

Highlights include:

  • Top 5 most important employee performance competencies now includes knowledge sharing, following its introduction into our global employee appraisal framework in 2014
  • Launched a new internal networking tool, Yammer

Knowledge sharing in the spotlight In 2014 stated our intention to drive a shift in culture that puts knowledge sharing at the heart of our business mindset. In 2015 we made great strides to put and keep knowledge sharing on the agenda, enabling and empowering individuals to learn from their colleagues and external experts, with the aim of generating added value from greater innovation and new market opportunities, thus ensuring business continuity.

In November 2014, via our 2020 Network employee development programme, we introduced a new knowledge sharing competency within our global employee appraisal framework, Croda Aspire. During 2015, this has become one of the top five competencies used by managers around the world to set objectives and measure performance, demonstrating that they have recognised just how important it is to encourage knowledge sharing at every level of our Business.

“Knowledge sharing is a very valuable competence for us, because our business model is based on bringing innovation to our customers via consultative sales. When knowledge sharing, we can really speed up the rate of innovation we can provide to our customers."

Marco Carmini, Managing Director, Croda Latin America

Sharing lessons learnt

During 2015, we focused additional efforts on how to connect people based on skills, experience or the know-how to answer a question or solve a problem. We rolled out Yammer (a Microsoft networking tool), which has now evolved as a means of connecting people, often in different locations, to discuss questions, lessons learnt and best practice. “The best thing for me about joining Yammer is having a much wider group of people within the Business to ask when I encounter a problem. Having spent time in the past resolving technical difficulties on my own, it is a refreshing change to connect with a group of people with similar issues who I can consult with.” Kathryn Backhouse, Group IP, UK

To read more about how we embed Knowledge Management, please read our Sustainability Report.