Did you know that any time an employee asks “where’s that file?”, it’s contributing to your company losing millions of dollars every year?
It’s an alarming thought, but it’s true – according to a workplace productivity study conducted by Panopto and YouGov, organizations in the US, depending on company size, are losing anywhere from $2.4M to $240M per year due to day-to-day inefficiencies that are caused by a lack of effective knowledge sharing practices.
While this might seem like a shocking statistic, when you consider that the average employee spends approximately 28% of the workweek managing e-mail and nearly 20% looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks, it isn’t much of a surprise at all.
Instead of time and brainpower that could be spent on important tasks such as critical thinking, deep analysis, and communicative problem-solving, your employees are forced to waste precious energy, clicks, and minutes sifting through long email threads and chaotic series of folders where critical files and resources are tucked away.
And over the course of a year, those minutes turn into hours, days, and weeks of lost productivity, and in turn, lost revenue.
But there is good news – this somber reality is completely preventable. In this article, we’ll identify the root of the problem and show you how you can drastically reduce these day-to-day inefficiencies and put millions of dollars back in your pocket.
Steps to start saving
- Understand the types of knowledge and the root problem
- Invest in the right knowledge sharing tools
- Facilitate a culture of knowledge sharing
1. Understand the types of knowledge and the root problem
The first step to combating ineffective knowledge sharing is understanding where the inefficiency lies.
Traditionally, when the concept of knowledge sharing is discussed, these three types of knowledge are most widely considered:
- Explicit knowledge: knowledge that covers topics that are easy to articulate, systematically document, and share. Examples of explicit knowledge include documents such as FAQs, a set of instructions, and diagrams.
- Implicit knowledge: knowledge that is gained by directly applying explicit knowledge to a specific situation. Outlining a best practice for performing a task is an example of implicit knowledge.
- Tacit knowledge: knowledge that is gained from personal experience and intuition that is more difficult to communicate or document; it is typically transferred through conversation and mentorship. Examples of tacit knowledge include knowing exactly how to respond to a rebuttal on a sales call or knowing how to craft the right copy to engage your audience.
However, while these are all important to be aware of and to try to codify as much as possible, there is a fourth type of knowledge that is entirely overlooked: day-to-day knowledge.
“Day-to-day knowledge” is knowledge and resources that are shared within teams on a day-to-day basis (e.g., email attachments, source material, floating docs, etc.).
Understanding day-to-day knowledge is crucial because its existence – and the lack of suitable solutions for sharing it efficiently – is the primary reason why companies are losing millions of dollars a year from poor knowledge-sharing practices.
So why is day-to-day knowledge the primary driver of lost productivity?
Going back to the stats we introduced at the top, you’ll recall that the average employee spends 28% of their workweek managing email and 20% looking for information or for a colleague’s help.
This means that nearly half of an employee’s entire workweek is spent hunting down or sharing resources, documents, and content that are essential to performing their day-to-day tasks.
Long story short: instead of spending time and energy focusing on high-level cognitive activities and completing tasks, your employees are spending half their day simply trying to find and share what they need.
2. Invest in the right knowledge sharing tools
Now that you’ve identified the root of the problem, the next step is to address it by investing in the right knowledge sharing tools for your organization.
Unfortunately, as the conversation around knowledge sharing is dominated by the three commonly discussed types of knowledge, traditional knowledge sharing systems and knowledge management solutions are not sufficient.
While they can certainly do a great job of helping your company document explicit, implicit, and tacit knowledge, they are ultimately not addressing the source of the majority of the revenue you’re losing, which is a lack of day-to-day knowledge sharing practices.
Enter Kahana, a software platform that is designed to help streamline your organization’s day-to-day knowledge sharing process head-on.
Kahana is designed to reduce dependency on lengthy email threads and convoluted folder hierarchies in Teams, SharePoint, Drive, and other similar solutions.
Benefits of knowledge sharing with Kahana
How does Kahana help you save? By making finding, viewing, and sharing files and docs simple and intuitive.
Kahana allows you to:
- See files and docs in a single split-screen window (this is great for research, writing, review, and analysis)
- Keep context easily by connecting your text to uploads and pulling up references and materials in one click with “Smart Links”
- Share knowledge with colleagues by copying and pasting a single link to a connected split-screen hub of docs, files, and content
On a day-to-day basis, these benefits have a tremendous impact. For junior employees, Kahana saves time by allowing them to wrangle all of their documents in one place as they’re referencing materials they need to work.
For senior employees, Kahana saves headaches by replacing the process of opening files, links, and attachments one by one and organizing (and reorganizing) their screens by simply receiving a hub containing all of the relevant reference materials and writing they need to review.
And because it’s possible to “Smart Link” writing to reference materials, everyone on the team saves time they would normally spend searching for files – for any given assignment, everything they need is in one hub, and they can pull it up in a single click.
3. Facilitate a culture of knowledge sharing
Kahana is perfectly designed to reduce the inefficiencies associated with day-to-day knowledge sharing.
But one of the biggest benefits of the platform is that as it continues to be used, your savings will compound.
Because hubs essentially serve as the single source of truth for any assignment or project, the more hubs that are created, the more prior work becomes accessible to leverage the next time a similar project comes around (remember the infographic at the top?).
Imagine your team is conducting research on industry trends.
Throughout the duration of the project, your team will likely be gathering quite a large number of resources.
Of course, this won’t be a one-time project, since you have to continuously stay up to date and refresh the research and insights.
Without Kahana, here’s what you’re looking at:
- Best case scenario: your team is incredibly meticulous and saves all of your source material and links in folders and documents. When it’s time to refresh, you still have to spend time opening up every single link and document and organizing multiple windows and tabs on your screen, and it’s still difficult to track which insight came from which resource.
- Worst case scenario: your team doesn’t do a great job of keeping track of your source material, and you’re stuck redoing a bunch of the work you had already done.
But with Kahana, all you’d have to do is open up the hub(s) where the work was done and viola, everything is easily accessible, linked together in one window, and ready for this year’s refresh.
That’s the beauty of Kahana – it’s inherently designed to build a long-term knowledge base and help your employees share knowledge more easily without even realizing it.
This process helps to foster a culture of knowledge sharing.
Future considerations for knowledge sharing
Knowledge sharing is critical to an organization’s success. Now that you appreciate the importance of day-to-day knowledge sharing and understand the inefficiencies that come from poor day-to-day knowledge sharing practices, you are in the perfect position to give your organization a competitive advantage and help your workforce become more productive by investing in the right knowledge sharing solution.
That’s exactly why we built Kahana: so you can rest easy knowing you are saving millions of dollars a year – literally – because your talent is able to spend more time focusing on the work that matters most.
- Types of knowledge: explicit, implicit, tacit
- Tacit knowledge: definition, examples, and importance
- Why a knowledge sharing culture is now business critical