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Swisscom transforms its working culture to put shared knowledge at its heart

Swisscom AG delivers communications, entertainment and internet services to the Swiss public. With almost 20,000 employees, it’s one of the largest employers in the country. Although a large enterprise, Swisscom is intent on providing a collaborative, open-book culture that fosters innovation, improves employee experience and supports overall business success . However, breaking down barriers to knowledge sharing to make business-wide information and expertise available to all employees was proving difficult.

Access to crowdsourced knowledge sharing at scale is a well-known challenge in large companies. In fact, according to IDC, knowledge workers spend up to 30% of the working day searching for information—more than a full working day every week—often translating directly to lost revenue. 

With Starmind’s cutting-edge AI technology, companies like Swisscom have been able to improve employee knowledge sharing, foster community-driven thinking, provide fast and straightforward access to experts and information, and quickly onboard new talent. The outcome is millions saved through establishing a collaborative working culture and improving productivity.

A culture shift build on shared knowledge


One of the biggest challenges in the modern workplace is the siloed approach to knowledge sharing, which impacts productivity and impedes collaboration. Roughly 20% of all organizational knowledge is documented. However, it’s estimated that the remaining 80% is implicit knowledge gathered through years of experience; the expertise and insights that are stored in employees’ minds, scribbled on Post-Its, or shared in informal office conversations.

With many employees now working remotely in the wake of COVID-19, finding ways to maintain a culture of knowledge sharing is more important than ever. Especially as many are already feeling disconnected and disengaged in this new, digital workplace.

For companies like Swisscom, looking to create a modern working culture where strategic knowledge and information is accessible to everyone in real time,  tapping into the collective intelligence of the organization is a matter of increasing urgency.

Working smarter


In 2014, Swisscom started a ‘Work Smart’ initiative to help break down internal silos, improve employee knowledge sharing, and help new employees get up to speed with the products, services, and internal systems they needed for their day-to-day work. 

Using Starmind, Swisscom created a platform that allows employees to access the implicit knowledge of experts across the organization and makes critical information transparent and available to everyone across teams, departments and geographies. The solution currently provides over 38,000 unique answers for Swisscom employees—about everything from new products and deals to internal processes and IT support. It also becomes smarter over time, continuously learning as users share their knowledge or access the platform to find answers. If an answer to a question isn't readily available, users are directed to the person most capable of providing one.  

At the time the Swisscom case study was published, Swisscom’s Starmind platform had over 5 million question views, and expert answers had resulted in a yearly productivity gain of more than CHF 3 million. Up-to-date information is now completely transparent and readily available in real time, supporting more efficient product launches and streamlined technology migrations. What’s more, previously answered questions no longer need to be answered by experts multiple times and new joiners can now take control of their own onboarding and learning, helping them get up to speed more quickly. 

“With Starmind we’ve made knowledge accessible to everybody,” says Stefan Nünlist, Head of Group Communications & Responsibility at Swisscom. “With a truly open-book culture we can explore new, more innovative ways of working, improve the employee experience, and make the business more successful.”

A growing need for connection and collaboration


As the way we work continues to change during and beyond the pandemic, it will be vital to help employees to connect and collaborate to stay engaged and productive. Giving employees the ability to easily access the knowledge they need and share their own expertise in a centralized system will be essential for a great employee experience that increases business agility and innovation. 

To achieve this, organizations will require modern, AI-powered solutions that can help people get up to speed more quickly, find the answers to pressing questions when it matters most, and be able to efficiently carry out the projects they are involved in. 

Read the full Swisscom case study and get in touch with the Starmind team today to see how your organization can benefit from accessing the collective knowledge of all your employees.

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