- Employees use about 38% of their knowledge at work, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. and U.K. workers from Starmind. More than 60% of respondents have difficulty accessing the information they need to do their jobs. This results in knowledge workers spending 26 days each year searching for information, knowledge and expertise, according to survey findings shared with HR Dive.
- More than six in 10 workers said they believe they could contribute more to their work but they don't know how. Nine in 10 workers want more opportunities to share their knowledge and expertise, according to the survey.
- Almost 60% of respondents said they feel stressed when a colleague leaves. Of these, respondents said their stress stemmed from the extra work that will fall to them, the loss of important knowledge or skills and the lack of documentation of the colleague's knowledge. Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the survey agreed that employers can use artificial intelligence (AI) to close the knowledge gap.
That the Starmind respondents highlighted AI as a solution to knowledge gaps may not come as a surprise. In fact, AI learning is up, according to a September 2019 survey from training company O'Reilly. The consumption of learning material on AI- and data-related subjects grew more than 50% in 2018 on O'Reilly's learning platform.
Automated tools and other uses of AI may free up more time for workers by eliminating their need to focus on menial tasks, a pain point identified by Starmind respondents.
A report from the Hackett Group found HR can accomplish more with fewer resources when relying on AI. By integrating automation into their practices, the report said, "HR organizations can reduce costs by 17% and operate with 26% fewer staff hours."
Employee dissatisfaction is the consequence of workers not feeling as though they're sufficiently contributing their knowledge and expertise to the fullest extent possible, according to the Starmind survey.
To boost workers' attitude toward work, HR professionals can make work more meaningful, according to sources who previously spoke to HR Dive. ThoughtWorks Chief Talent Officer Joanna Parke told HR Dive that offering meaningful work isn't necessarily about making employees happy but about creating an environment in which their work is fulfilling.
"[People] want to be good at something, and they want to have the ability, and the agency, and the freedom to kind of solve problems and get the satisfaction that comes from solving those problems," Parke said.