Inefficient Knowledge Sharing Costs Large Businesses $47 Million Per Year



Aug 18, 20233 min read


Inefficient Knowledge Sharing Costs Large Businesses $47 Million Per Year

Knowledge sharing is a vital aspect of any successful business. The ability to share information, insights, and expertise among employees is crucial for productivity and innovation. However, a recent report has shed light on the high costs associated with inefficient knowledge sharing in large businesses.

According to the Panopto Workplace Knowledge and Productivity Report, the average large US business loses $47 million in productivity each year due to inefficient knowledge sharing. This loss is a result of knowledge workers wasting 5.3 hours every week either waiting for vital information from their colleagues or working to recreate existing institutional knowledge.

The consequences of this wasted time are significant. It leads to delayed projects, missed opportunities, employee frustration, and a negative impact on the bottom line. To remain competitive, businesses must prioritize efficient knowledge sharing and provide the necessary tools to preserve institutional knowledge and foster a culture of teaching among employees.

The report calculates the annual productivity loss based on several factors, including the number of employees, average hourly wage, weekly hours spent inefficiently, weeks per year, utilization assessment rate, and adoption assessment rate. Similarly, the cost of onboarding inefficiency is calculated based on the number of employees, annual employee turnover, average hourly wage, months to proficiency in a new job, weekly hours spent inefficiently, utilization assessment rate, and adoption assessment rate.

When these calculations are combined with other averages from the research, the result is an average cost of $42.5 million in annual productivity loss and an average cost of $4.5 million in inefficient onboarding, totaling $47 million in annual costs. This means that a business with 3,000 employees loses $8 million annually, a 10,000-employee business loses $26.5 million annually, and a 50,000-employee business loses $132.7 million annually.

The staggering costs associated with inefficient knowledge sharing highlight the importance of addressing this issue. Businesses need to invest in tools and technologies that facilitate seamless knowledge sharing and collaboration among employees. This can include implementing robust internal communication platforms, knowledge management systems, and training programs focused on sharing best practices and expertise.

Furthermore, businesses should strive to create a culture of teaching and learning within their organizations. Encouraging employees to share their knowledge and insights with their colleagues not only improves productivity but also fosters a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

In addition to these measures, here are three actionable pieces of advice for businesses looking to improve knowledge sharing and reduce productivity losses:

  • 1. Implement a comprehensive knowledge management system: A centralized platform that allows employees to store, organize, and access information and expertise is essential for efficient knowledge sharing. Invest in a knowledge management system that is user-friendly, searchable, and encourages collaboration.
  • 2. Foster a culture of continuous learning: Encourage employees to take part in ongoing training and development programs that focus on sharing knowledge and best practices. Provide opportunities for employees to teach and learn from each other through workshops, mentorship programs, and internal knowledge-sharing events.
  • 3. Embrace technology: Leverage tools and technologies that enable real-time collaboration and communication. This can include video conferencing platforms, project management tools, and virtual collaboration spaces. Embracing technology not only improves knowledge sharing but also enhances remote teamwork and flexibility.

In conclusion, inefficient knowledge sharing comes at a high cost for large businesses. To mitigate these costs and improve productivity, businesses must prioritize efficient knowledge sharing, invest in the right tools and technologies, and foster a culture of teaching and learning. By doing so, businesses can unlock the full potential of their employees and drive innovation and success.

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