As the business landscape evolves, continuous learning has become imperative for organisations seeking to stay competitive. With the corporate training market projected to reach $475 billion globally by 2027, it’s clear that upskilling and reskilling the workforce is a top priority. However, despite massive investment in training, poor access to information and outdated resources are hindering the effectiveness of these programmes. 

New research quantifies the enormous inefficiencies that exist within large organisations when it comes to managing knowledge. Employees waste countless hours searching for information they can’t find, while outdated resources undermine confidence and productivity. The financial impact of this is staggering, costing UK businesses up to £25.7 billion per year. Beyond the monetary loss, poor information access has other consequences – nearly half of workers feel unable to improve their skills and 22% have considered quitting due to frustration. 

Tackling these challenges is imperative for organisations seeking to unlock the full potential of their workforce in today’s knowledge economy. As the following summary illustrates, solutions to overcome the high cost of inaccessible information and empower employees with the knowledge resources they need to maximise productivity and drive business success. 

Filling the knowledge vacuum 

Our research revealed that the time taken by knowledge workers to find relevant information is hindering productivity and imposing significant costs on businesses and the economy: 18% of employees cannot locate the information they need on a daily basis and over a quarter spend 3-4 hours a day hunting for crucial information, severely hindering their productivity. 

The downstream effects are wide ranging. Many employees turn to external sources like competitors when internal information is inadequate. The majority lack confidence in the relevance of available resources and knowledge bottlenecks emerge as workers constantly rely on others to fill gaps. 

Compounding the problem, employers admit that much of their knowledge base is outdated, yet there is a disconnect between leadership and employees regarding access. Information silos across departments and lack of centralised repositories exacerbate these challenges. 

The daily scramble for information brings with it steep costs in wasted time, frustrated employees, stagnated productivity, and missed opportunities. Solving these ingrained issues is imperative for organisations seeking to provide access to vital information and unlock their workforce’s full potential. 

The staggering cost of poor knowledge management 

While the productivity challenges are clear, what does inadequate information access mean for a business’s bottom line? The financial impact is multifaceted and quickly adds up. 

Employees wasting hours searching for basic information costs UK organisations £15,261 per worker annually in lost productivity. Reworking outdated resources costs another £2,601 per employee per year, while seeking help from colleagues piles on an additional £2,699 in inefficiencies. 

In total, OBRIZUM estimates the average annual cost of poor knowledge management is £20,562 for each employee. That’s equivalent to a staggering 35.6% of the average salary. Needless to say, this enormous cost is a major hindrance for businesses attempting to thrive in the knowledge economy. 

Missed opportunities add up 

Beyond direct costs, inadequate information access results in missed opportunities – both financially and in terms of human capital. 

The revenue forfeited is startling: 16% of organisations missed out on £1-5 million in deals over the past year due to knowledge gaps. Another 23% lost £500k to £1 million while 32% missed deals worth £250-500k. 

The impact on talent is also concerning. Nearly half of employees feel unable to improve on their skills due to poor information. 22% have considered resigning due to frustration with resources. 

For the UK economy, the total estimated loss is up to £25.75 billion annually when factoring wider productivity and opportunity costs. 

Tackling the knowledge deficit is not just about operational efficiency. It’s an imperative for capturing revenue, retaining top talent, and maximising competitiveness. Providing workforce-wide access to vital information can help regain ground lost to missed opportunities. 

Empowering workforces through targeted technology 

Fortunately, solutions exist. Advances in technology offer new ways to effectively deliver information to employees when they need it. 

AI and adaptive learning platforms are purpose built to overcome poor access and outdated resources. They can rapidly analyse extensive knowledge bases and deliver personalised recommendations and learning paths to individual employees. The technology handles the complexity of searching for information behind the scenes, while users enjoy access to relevant knowledge. 

By harnessing these innovations, the full potential of an organisation’s knowledge can be unleashed. Workforces can keep their skills sharp and productivity high through continuous learning while revenue opportunities can be captured, talent retained, and competitiveness maximised. 

The knowledge economy demands agility and skill. By leveraging technology to equip workforces with the right information at the right time, businesses can drive sustainable growth and success in the face of rapid change. 

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