Whether in an office, out in the field, on the sales floor or on a production line, most workers today must use technology to interact with work-related content. But too often, workers use outdated and disconnected technologies to access and share this content, making them less productive and less satisfied at work.
Seventy-one percent of employees say they want their companies to provide them with the same level of technology as they use in their personal lives as consumers, according to Salesforce's 2017 State of IT report. Millennials in particular—who make up the largest generation of workers today—expect to work with technology that feels natural to them. Enter: knowledge management technology—organizational systems that enable companies to share different types of resources, such as learning content, both internally and externally.
With an intuitive, collaborative knowledge management tool, organizations can deliver the kind of employee experience that today's workers expect out of an enterprise tool, and bring the best of consumer experiences with technology into the corporate world.
Learning Like a Consumer
Imagine that your washing machine starts overflowing on Christmas Day, and you can't get a plumber out to service it—where do you turn? Do you dig out the giant owner's manual (if you know where it is) and flip to the troubleshooting section? Probably not.
People are increasingly turning to Google and YouTube to find solutions to their problems. Searches that begin with "how to" have grown by 140 percent in the last 13 years. People want to approach work problems in a similar way, yet many businesses today are still taking the "owner's manual approach" when it comes to providing training and learning content. These organizations lack knowledge management tools that support learning content and help provide employees access the right information at the right times.
The average worker spends nearly 20 percent of their time searching for internal information or asking colleagues to help them with specific tasks, according to research by the McKinsey Institute, and it takes an average of 8 searches to find the document they need, a survey by SearchYourCloud found. Your employees may not be leafing through paper manuals for information, but if they're logging into disparate legacy systems or databases to find what they need, they're essentially having the same inefficient experience.
People want technology that is collaborative, interactive and embedded into the tools and devices they're already using, so they can more efficiently access the information they need to do their jobs. Americans check their phones as often as 80 times per day, and one in five of all pages views in the U.S. occurs on Facebook. That level of employee engagement is possible with knowledge management tools that have characteristics similar to that of Facebook—intuitive, rich with multimedia, available on any device and (most importantly) socially collaborative.
And as an employee's role and responsibilities change over time, it's important for them to have access to a knowledge management platform that facilitates continuous learning, with information that is relevant throughout the different stages of their career. To improve today's employee experience, a knowledge management system must be personalized to the user (like different social platforms), with content recommendations that are relevant to them. For example, a learning path should be customized specifically to the employee's role, with suggested content or certification trainings they need to complete to stay compliant in their field.
Employees are much more engaged, efficient and productive when they have access to personalized content and the ability to collaborate with colleagues in real time. Ultimately, this is not only good for employee experience, but for the bottom line as well.
Photo: Creative Commons