Are you educated, working with specialized tasks? Then you are probably irreplaceable at your workplace. This is a situation that you can be happy about, but you should also know that your employer probably does not share your positive view of this. Most employer wants to transform your competencies to “structure intellectual property” so that if anything happens to you (or between you and your employer), then he/she can replace you.
Are you frightened yet? Don’t be. Be proactive and learn how to use this to your favour. Talk to your supervisor and explain that you have an urge to develop your company and want to share your knowledge, and suggest that the company starts a knowledge sharing program. This way you will show that you care and that your work matters as well as you will learn from others in the program, hence develop your own competencies. Do you think that this will make you replaceable? Actually, this makes you even more valuable to the company since you get a better understanding for more processes as well as it will be harder to replace you when you have more knowledge of the company. And do not forget that while developing your skills, your value increases when looking for new positions (within and outside the company).
By now you are probably thinking that this is a way to differentiate your brand at the workplace and creating value at the same time, and guess what, you are completely right. This is an excellent example of differentiation at the workplace.
This is two different views of intellectual capital, one representing the employer and the other the employee:
I need to convert the skills of my staff to structure capital so that I can manage if I lose personnel without loosing intellectual capital. The staff should be replaceable. This can be done by documentation and knowledge transfer between the employees.
I need to stay unique to keep my value to my employer to make me irreplaceable. This I can do by staying one step ahead in gathering knowledge and use the knowledge to excel in my current role.
Tip of the week: Do not fight the knowledge transfer. Support it and if possible, take control over the process. Learn as much as you can and analyze how you can use the knowledge in your favour.