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Increase productivity by socializing more

Today we're going to be open and honest about one word that crosses the lips of many an employee: The "P" word. That's right, productivity. It's the subject of our first installment of our How to Cost Justify Your Social Knowledge Network Needs series.

If your company is like most, social strategies are on the back burner. As Phil Green wrote in a previous post, the rationale might sound like this: "Social tools make sense on the Internet for sites like Amazon, but not behind the firewall at my firm."

Not so. Studies show that people are most effective when they have immediate access to the right information at the right time. A Workplace Productivity Study by information provider LexisNexis found that 62 percent of knowledge worker professionals spend a "lot of time" sifting through irrelevant information to find what they need.

The same study shows that 85 percent of white collar workers agree that not being able to access the right information at the right time is a "huge time waster."

For a typical knowledge worker, access to information that helps them execute their jobs faster and with more accuracy can dramatically improve efficiency. It allows them to focus their time on their own core competencies and the business objective at hand, rather than wasting time searching for and validating information.

Productivity studies of professional services firms where human expertise and capital is the most critical asset illustrate this requirement most dramatically.

For instance, we recently worked with a large engineering firm. Prior to creating a social knowledge management environment, their engineers were wasting 30 percent of their time searching for information, rather than actually solving technical problems or spending time interfacing with client organizations.

Below is an actual example of productivity improvements and cost savings when implementing an effective social knowledge management solution. (Click the image to see it enlarged.)

If knowledge workers are freed from unproductive time spent searching for information and validating the veracity of content, and instead spend their time on their unique competencies and "customer facing" activities, they become vastly more effective and productive.

SKN Value Prop: Workers are most productive and effective when they have immediate access to the right information at the right time.

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