Does sharing your knowledge and helping others make you happier at work?
As part of our Productivity Drain Research Report 2021, we asked this question to 1,000 office workers in the United States, Germany and Switzerland. The answer we received was surprisingly emphatic. We found that most respondents (87%) agreed that knowledge sharing leads to happier employees. In the US alone, the figure was even higher (93%).
Here at Starmind, we believe companies need to rethink their approach to employee knowledge sharing. Without doing this, they will lose an enormous amount of time and money to endless information searches. In fact, the time lost is estimated to be worth around $14.8 million annually for an organization employing 4,000 office workers.
However, our findings suggest it is not just businesses suffering. When knowledge is hidden or underutilized in an organization, it can have a major negative impact on employees as well.
- Valuable knowledge and experience is going untapped
- Poor employee knowledge sharing = poor employee experience
- Escape the vicious cycle of knowledge loss
Valuable knowledge and experience is going untapped
Knowledge is the primary capital of office-based businesses. Are you getting your money’s worth? Not if your company is anything like those featured in our research.
The people we surveyed estimated that almost one-third (31%) of their knowledge and experience goes unused. Three-quarters (79%) told us their employer would benefit from accessing more of their knowledge. For those at the C-suite level, the figure rose to an incredible 95%. In other words, only 1 in 20 top executives feel like they are giving their organizations their all.
One of the primary reasons for this is because organizations do not have a platform for connecting people with questions to people with answers. It is challenging to access employee knowledge if you do not know where that knowledge base resides. Likewise, colleagues can only benefit from your insights if you know who would benefit from them.
Poor employee knowledge sharing = poor employee experience
The failure to share knowledge effectively has several negative impacts on the day-to-day working experiences of employees.
Our research shows 84% of C-suite respondents believe they could have avoided a mistake they made in the past if only they had had access to the right people or information.
For those with questions, it means having to spend a lot of time on tedious information searches. According to our research, more than a third of office workers in larger organizations are currently spending over two hours a day engaged in this thankless and often fruitless task. This is not a recipe for job satisfaction.
Even worse, the lack of easy access to knowledge is forcing employees into making avoidable mistakes. Again, this has a negative impact — not only on the business but also on individual job satisfaction and wellbeing. 67% of workers we surveyed admitted they could have avoided making mistakes in the past — if only they could have accessed the right people or information.
The situation can be equally frustrating for those with answers. We saw above how much people enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping others. When they are unable to do so, they can quickly lose their sense of purpose at work. They can feel like they are not being recognized for their value and do not have the opportunity to demonstrate their true worth.
Escape the vicious cycle of knowledge loss
Alarm bells should be ringing pretty loudly at this point, especially given that 43% of the office workers we spoke to said one of the key reasons they would consider leaving their organization is if their experience and capabilities were not being recognized.
What is even more worrying is that when people decide to leave an organization, they will take much of their valuable knowledge with them. In fact, on average, only 53% of knowledge held by those exiting is retained and documented. The result? Yet more searches, more loss of productivity, more disengagement… and so the cycle continues.
Luckily, there is a solution.
Businesses can use a knowledge collaboration platform like Starmind to quickly connect employees to colleagues with answers. Even if those colleagues are working in a different department, at another level or on the other side of the world, employees still openly communicate.
Such a platform can make employee knowledge sharing an integral part of your organization. This is something conventional knowledge management systems and collaboration platforms are simply not designed for. The benefits of knowledge sharing include boosting productivity and increasing engagement and retention.
Download our full Productivity Drain Research Report 2021 to learn more about how a human-centric AI-powered knowledge collaboration platform can help you unlock the human potential in your organization and improve employee satisfaction and wellbeing.