December 5, 2017
Written by Lori Mankin
In an ongoing effort to gain a deeper understanding of how knowledge sharing can best serve businesses, Bloomfire conducted a survey to determine which employees or departments need, want and would benefit from improved knowledge sharing technology most right now. With the understanding that every person and department throughout a business benefits from the ability to quickly and easily share, organize, and interact with information, Bloomfire wanted to give businesses the best insight into who is being impacted by gaps in knowledge sharing and what to do about it. While Bloomfire expected to find discrepancies amongst knowledge sharing capabilities from department to department, what we found was that the millennial workforce is currently driving the increased desire for knowledge sharing. Millennials want, and even expect, improved tools and resources for accessing internal business information more easily.
According to Bloomfire’s most recent survey, 37% of professionals (of all ages) spend over 30 minutes every day looking for internal information. Previous studies have also shown that employees are spending almost 20% of their time searching for internal information. That’s a huge drain on productivity, with substantial implications for the bottom line. Reports have proven that this loss in productivity costs businesses. Though many professionals lose productivity to searching for information, this negatively impacts the younger workforce more than their older counterparts. Bloomfire’s survey results showed that 53% of working professionals between the ages of 18 and 34 would like to be able to access internal information more easily, as compared to only 44% of professionals between 35 and 44 years old, and 40% of professionals aged 45 to 54 years old. While it is well-documented that all workers benefit from knowledge sharing, the statistically significant relationship between age and desire for information sharing means businesses must adapt to meet the needs of a younger tech-focused workforce.
Investing in a Younger Workforce
Providing millennial employees, who are projected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, with the tools and resources necessary to work effectively is paramount to a business’s success.
According to the survey, only 39% of professionals aged 18 to 34 gave their company’s technology a score of 8 out of 10 or higher, compared to older employees who were more satisfied, with 46% of 35 to 54 year-olds giving a score of 8 or higher. A full 44% of those aged 18 to 34 rated their company’s technology 6 or lower out of 10, showing a high-level of dissatisfaction among nearly a majority of young professionals.
This difference between age groups again highlights the expectations of the workforce of the future. If you’re not investing in technology to meet these expectations, there are serious implications for your business because ignoring this trend could prove detrimental to a company’s future. Investing in millennials assists in attracting and retaining top talent, creating an accessible culture, and empowers growth among younger employees. Investing in knowledge sharing platforms that enable curation, organization, and collaboration is one way companies are meeting the expectations of the young workforce.
Knowledge Sharing Technology & Millennial Professionals
Attracts and Retains
Giving millennials access to the tools they want will help attract and retain top young talent. Most millennials grew up in a world revolving around search and quick access to information. With access to Google, Wikipedia and more, all from a mobile device for instant gratification, the millennial workforce is more frustrated when they can’t easily find company information. Furthermore, learning that a company hasn’t caught up technology-wise can be a red flag for a younger workforce that is used to readily-accessible information.
Creates an Accessible Culture
According to a study conducted by Fidelity, millennials value a healthy work life more than income, even at the cost of a $7,600 pay cut. A thoughtful and enforced company culture makes for a happier work environment where employees are invested in the success of their work on a personal level, rather than just a financial one. To effectively support workplace culture, however, a business needs to maximize visibility of cultural values as well as provide tools that enforce a feeling of connectedness. Knowledge sharing platforms support company cultures by creating a clear picture of a company overall and by making it easy to interact amongst departments and ranks via features such as ‘liking’ content and the ability to create comments and questions. It is no longer enough to share vision through annual company meetings and reports. Young workers who grew up using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram want to develop that same social connection at work. With knowledge sharing platforms, young workers are able to have both clear visibility into company goals and other cultural attributes, while feeling connected to the greater company culture at large.
It’s important that your millennial workforce sees a path for professional growth. In an ideal scenario, individual and overall business growth go hand in hand. To achieve growth, clear lines of communication must exist, and efficiency must improve alongside constantly changing variables. By democratizing information, knowledge sharing platforms empower young professionals to advance by encouraging collaboration and breaking down information and department silos, which hold information hostage and stunt company growth. It also allows young employees to make a greater impact, by sharing information and successes company-wide, rather than completing projects that get lost in a black hole.
Positioning Your Business for the Millennial Workforce
There’s no doubt that the millennial workforce has different expectations than older generations. Advances in technology have guaranteed that. The younger workforce wants and expects better technologies for accessing, sharing, and interacting with information. The recent survey conducted by Bloomfire reinforces the growing body of research in this area, and clearly distinguishes the differences in expectations between younger and older professionals surrounding knowledge sharing. While workers of any age will benefit from better knowledge sharing in an organization, younger employees expectations will no doubt be higher.
Millennials will soon make up a majority of the workforce and will be the guiding force for industries and how businesses operate in general. To ensure your business’s current and future success, you need to seriously consider what you’re doing to satisfy millennial professionals, and how you’re providing the appropriate tools to set them up for success. Their success is, ultimately, your success.
Harness The Power Of Knowledge Sharing With Digital Transformation
Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.Download Now