The average worker spends 25% of their day searching for information to perform their job. That's exactly what The Delphi Group found when they completed a study of over 1,000 knowledge workers. This means that essentially 25% of payroll costs are squandered because of information not being accessible.
What can you do to lessen the time employees spend looking for information?
With so much information available within an organization, learning is about collecting, tagging, sharing and collaborating about information and knowledge. It’s about the learning and development function supporting and facilitating these activities. It’s about identifying silos and breaking them down so information can be passed along. It’s about communication – up and down and across the entire organization.
Organizations today see the individual learner in charge of his or her own learning in conjunction with fulfilling the learning requirements identified that drive the needs and goals of the organization.
In last month’s Harvard Business Review, the article Collaborative Overload identifies that time working in teams or collaboratively by both managers and employees has increased 50% in the last 20 years. Though this may seem like a positive change, and at times it is, it is also couched in challenges that can lead to less productivity rather than more. For example, often it is the same several individuals in an organization who are identified as “star performers” when it comes to working collaboratively and they can become bottlenecks to getting things done. However, if other team members and the organization recognize that these individuals can provide input by identifying where to find information captured on company portals, it can be easily shared without attending another meeting that often gets pushed back because of scheduling.
As we continue to work more collaboratively, and organizations become flatter, the importance of sharing knowledge and information quickly and easily will grow. With 70% of what we’re learning coming from day-to-day work we need to formalize how this knowledge and information can be retrieved for review and reuse.
This is why we need to integrate and align the learning and development function to the processes and functions of knowledge management within the organization. Working together, knowledge management and learning and development will form a give and take approach in how knowledge is captured and shared among individuals and across the organization.
This partnership is a logical approach of how to support employees’ learning needs. Organizational learning is increasingly more self-directed and user focused with opportunities to learn always in front of us. Whatever we need to know we can search on Google or You Tube. Also, there are lots of free, mobile ready programs available anywhere, to anyone who wants to learn something specific or hone a skill. Lastly, the natural inclination of organizations moving toward a 70-20-10 learning model – is screaming at us to be ready to capture and save the accumulation of knowledge so it can be easy to find, easily accessed and ready to use.
If you need support in understanding how to begin to collect and index knowledge and information, call Knowledge Advantage @ 860.256.7879 to discuss.