Can Technology Fill Knowledge Gaps? Here are Four Essential Tools for Modern Businesses
Do you know how much knowledge is lost when an employee walks out the door?
Lost knowledge has a high cost, but we only tend to see it when a particularly bad situation happens. For instance, ten years ago, Boeing management had to shut down production for more than 3 weeks as many skilled production workers left. To be exact, 9000 senior employees retired and this was the cost:
The full financial impact of Boeing's growing commercial production and delivery crisis has been revealed, with costs estimated at $2.6 billion attributed to late deliveries and recovery plans.
So, we wonder is there a way to measure the loss and value of knowledge? Luckily, there is. Part of the problem lies n the fact that only after the employee had left, the managers oftentimes realize what they have lost.
Each employee is a knowledge worker.
With the rise of the mobile workforce and technology improvements, employees have great opportunities to constantly re-evaluate their current position. This particularly applies to younger generations since they are always seeking better work conditions.
Tech companies are especially under pressure when it comes to meeting employees’ needs.
Based on the recent LinkedIn survey that included over 3.000 full-time workers in the US, has shown that most employees do not care about office perks, at least no more. Here's what it said:
One of the top factors most likely to keep professionals at their company for 5+ years is having strong workplace benefits such as PTO, parental leave, and health insurance (44%). In comparison, the least enticing factor for keeping professionals at their current companies is having in-office perks such as food, game rooms, and gyms (19%).
In other words, employees want a career, a community, and a cause. But, the question is what these three needs have in common? And the answer would be knowledge sharing in a general sense.
Eighty-seven percent of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job.
This means that to remain motivated and sharp, people need to learn new skills, apply new knowledge, and take on new responsibilities. Because of this, managers should encourage and sponsor continuous learning, organize training, and provide technology tools and resources available to employees. In the broader sense, the right technology can create a culture of knowledge sharing where the knowledge cannot be lost.
1. Online Chats: Communicate to Enhance Productivity
Since we no longer communicate in small, closed groups, we organize our internal communication by topics, projects or teams via open channels. Yes, teams can be smaller or bigger, but the focus here is on the common interest, goal or action.
Online chats allow people to converse in real time and many are equipped with other document sharing features, mention options, quotation features, and more. All of these features enable a proactive communication that is not restricted by time or place.
Most chat services enable files sharing with drag-and-drop simplicity and usually support a video call feature.
How can online chats help you fill knowledge gaps in your company?
● They help you organize team communication in one place,
● They allow integration with services you already use (most online chats),
● They help you find the shared content easily,
● They enable file sharing,
● They provide one-on-one communication and group chats,
● Also, they connect remote teams.
2. Internal blogs: Build a Strong Company Culture & Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Today, the blog is inevitable for any business. Businesses do use external blogs for promotional purposes and show their company culture, but they have also turned to the internal blog as a tool that strengthens the communication and collaboration and empowers a company culture.
They now use internal blogs to provide instructional information, share information about company culture events and news, to share knowledge and skills through blog posts and comments.
One of the most important features of the internal blog is knowledge sharing. Let’s say that each employee in your company specializes in different fields, HR or IT, for example, wouldn’t it be great to share that knowledge with others? When multiple authors contribute to your internal blog, you are creating a chance for other employees to learn new things that aren’t necessarily in their field but can be still relevant to them and their work.
Such collaboration via internal blog provides you means to continuously communicate your company vision and core values, helping them feel more included, connected and proactive.
How can internal blog fill knowledge gaps?
● It can help you communicate the company vision.
● Blogs can also increase employee involvement, participation, and activity.
● Internal blogs also encourage proactivity in terms of company culture.
● They build a sense of community,
● And enable easy collaboration and knowledge sharing
● Finally, internal blogs boost motivation in the team
3. Video conferencing: Communicate to Build Trust and Relationship
If you want to build trust between people and create a trusted relationship with clients, collaborators or colleagues, video conferencing is a way to go. Similarly to online chats, video conferencing enables easy knowledge sharing.
A webcam can capture anything - person or object. This means that you can easily display products, prototypes, work or artwork, and designs.
Video conferencing tools are also essential for teleworking which implies working away from the office, usually at home. This is also called remote work. If you work in a big company where employees are scattered all around the world, video conferencing is a great option for in-house teaching and courses and exchanging knowledge. This way, you are also able to use multimedia facilities such as online interactive whiteboards, and other online collaboration tools.
How can video conferencing increase knowledge sharing and fills the knowledge gaps?
● It helps you build a good client relationship,
● It improves staff training experience,
● It reduces travel expenses,
● It promotes optimized attendance,
● Finally, it enables structured meetings with improved communication
4. Project management tools: Communicate to Boost Team Involvement
Miscommunication cost even smaller companies of 100 employees an average of $420,000 per year. Businesses lose an average of $11,000 per employee every year due to ineffective communication and collaboration, as one survey showed:
Employees spend more than two-thirds of their day communicating and collaborating, yet lose almost 15% of total work time.
Regardless of the industry or business type, every one of us is exchanging information. And when this process is not efficient, the information is lost.
When it comes to project management, communication is essential for everything in the projects, and its outcomes and results depend on how effective information is exchanged.
These days, besides effectiveness, the pace of transferred information is equally important. Good project management tools overcome obstacles through communication and enhance collaboration.
From having regular updates of the status of the project and performance to tracking tasks of each team member and organizing them - effective project management tools can boost communication in a great way.
How can project management tools help fill knowledge gaps?
● They keep everyone informed,
● They increase team communication,
● They track feedback, comments, and input on tasks
● They decrease the work-related miscommunication
● They encourage positive collaboration
● And they also make the development process and tracking easy.
Timely access to critical information is probably one of the main reasons employees often withhold knowledge. But reasons can also vary from personal and cultural to organizational and technical.
To share knowledge, learn from and teach others, the technology has to meet the needs of your employees. Good collaboration and communication tools provide you with good methods for capturing complex and unique experiences, information, data, knowledge and deep smarts of your team. These tools help you to fill knowledge gaps and stimulate people to learn, perform better, and be more creative and innovative.
Also, paying attention to the satisfaction of your employees improves your company performance. The part of their satisfaction is an opportunity to share knowledge.
If your company needs to boost internal communication, you can sign up for our free trial and see how the internal blog can benefit you and your team.