Our landmark research into corporate knowledge sharing has shone a light on the major issues and costs associated with employees lacking simple access to critical information.
With the ability to access and utilise key information at speed, employees are empowered to work productively and efficiently in their roles, with employers enjoying maximum output and returns from their workforce investments. If access to information is hampered, however, then productivity becomes restrained, costing businesses and the economy millions.
With our research showing a very clear disconnect in perceptions between employees and their employers, it’s apparent that current strategies are missing the mark and a new approach is needed.
Employees lack information access and confidence
At present, the average amount of time that employees spend looking for resources each day is roughly 1.85 hours, with more than a quarter (28%) confirming that they spend as many as three to four hours looking for the information they require to carry out their role effectively.
In turn, 25% of workers say decision-making is negatively impacted due to them having to search for the information they require, with 60% left frustrated by not being able to find the information they need centrally.
A significant 88% of employees also believe the information to be out of date or irrelevant, with more than two thirds (69%) lacking confidence in the information they already have access to, questioning its relevance and accuracy.
This poor access to, and low confidence in, information leads many to turn to colleagues for help, creating a domino effect of unproductivity.
The report reveals that nearly one in five workers (17%) need to ask colleagues every day of the week to provide information and resources for them to carry out their roles effectively. A quarter (26%) do so three to four times per week, and one in five (21%) do so at least once a week.
All this time being spent searching for information adds up, and the over-impact on a business’s bottom line is far from insignificant.
The cost of ineffective access and outdated information
Having such a large fraction of the workforce incapacitated by their inability to track down critical details translates to a huge cost on business finances and resources.
Based on the average annual salary of employee respondents (£57,754.54), it’s estimated that the annual cost of an employee searching for information (£15,261.65), reworking or duplicating information (£2,601.21), and asking for help from their colleagues to find information (£2,699.25) totals a massive £20,562.10 per worker.
In other words, 35.6% of each person’s salary is absorbed by inefficiencies stemming from ineffective access and outdated information.
It’s a matter of perspective
The cascading impacts are extensive. The report reveals that poor access to information also hampers sales and the onboarding of new customers, as well as leaving many knowledge workers frustrated, with more than one in five considering leaving their job.
However, employers aren’t necessarily aware of the extent of the issue.
The report shows that three quarters of employers claim it’s ‘easy’ for their staff to find learning resources, with a third (38%) saying it’s ‘very easy’, and only 36% believing that it’s ‘difficult’ to find this information within the business.
Despite this, in more than two thirds of businesses (67%), learning resources and information are siloed across multiple places and departments, with only a third of businesses centrally indexing their information (33%).
To overcome this, businesses must modernise their systems and architecture, empowering their employees with technology to improve access to information, enhance data accuracy and eliminate inefficiencies.
AI-powered tools can enhance the efficiency of education and training, bringing up-to-date resources into a centralised location at speed.
OBRIZUM’s AI-powered adapting learning platform, for example, can analyse and arrange content at a rate that is unattainable for humans, leveraging the data and information that already lives within business’ content bases to create an ever-evolving central hub of information. With such a solution, the costs associated with knowledge searching, reworking outdated information, and asking colleagues for help, quickly disappear.
For more information on overcoming the challenges of poor access to information and outdated resources, see the full report: Unlocking Information in the Knowledge Economy.
OBRIZUM is the AI learning technology & data analytics company for enterprise businesses.
We leverage automation, adaptability and analytics to deliver adaptive learning experiences at scale.
Find out how OBRIZUM can help unlock the potential of your business by speaking to our team.