In conversation with Fuse Product Director Rhys Giles, we learn about how great search functionality and a powerful content methodology makes for a recipe for success
‘Knowledge worker.’ As a category, it implies a certain level of smarts: programmers, lawyers and accountants and others who have knowledge as their capital have to work hard to get where they are, right? So why are they spending nearly 20% of their days searching for knowledge?
It’s true. In 2019, Josh Bersin and Marc Zao Sanders ran a survey with Linkedin to find out more about the ‘flow of work’ surrounding knowledge workers. It turns out, there are some common trends amongst them: There are 780 million knowledge workers globally, and they sit in front of a computer for on average, 6.5 hours every day. They spend 28% of their time on email, 19% of their time gathering information (searching for data), and 14% of their time communicating internally (in formal and informal meetings).
Again, I’ll ask the question: why? Why are these highly skilled people spending a fifth of their day looking for knowledge? Well, in many instances it’s because that knowledge is stored in many different places such as intranets, collaboration tools, document stores and learning platforms.
We know that knowledge workers, on average, end up with about 24 minutes a week to dedicate to learning. So, if they spend on average a fifth of their week searching for knowledge (a day) yet only have 24 minutes to learn, how will they be able to find the knowledge, and comprehend what they need help maintain and boost company performance?
Many learning platforms have not been designed to help with these challenges, which is a challenge in itself because what is learning if it isn't the consumption of information, and comprehension that turns it into knowledge? Surely learning platforms should play a role in finding the right knowledge so that people can learn in the flow of work and get knowledge at the point of need.
On a positive note, there is help at hand, and in this article, we’re to explain what it entails. Read along as we do a deep dive into how Fuse is ramping up search capabilities to demonstrably boost company performance.
The Truth is Out There
Unlike the plot of an X-files episode, searching for knowledge on your learning platform shouldn’t be paramount in complexity to revealing the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life and truths hidden by the authorities. The problem is, the task can feel that insurmountable at times.
So, why’s it taking knowledge workers so long to find what they need? If we go back in history and look at learning, there have been many barriers raised that luckily have now been broken down. When many companies first started with learning management systems, they created SCORM courses which contained knowledge for foundation skill building. This was effectively putting knowledge into a box and walling it off from being able to get back to ‘knowledge nuggets,’ and finding answers to questions in the moment. This was a barrier we as the learning industry introduced.
The Differentiators Demonstrably Supporting Performance
What you now get with Fuse is entirely different. You can curate and create knowledge, and there are a wide range of tools that help you to learn and feed back into the platform. The system accommodates feedback in the form of one-to-ones and coaching, as well as sharing tacit knowledge as a subject matter expert.
We also really support users through search. We have a great content methodology that allows us to break down content into micro pieces of learning, which makes it easier for you to find the piece of learning that will help you to do your job.
We don’t just aggregate masses of content. Our methodology encourages companies to curate content, which means that they assemble libraries of content that is relevant to an individual user. This means that when you search Fuse for the information that you need, it gives you information back based on what your role is in the company, what programmes you’re involved with, or what projects you may have on.
Accessibility to information is also customised with our community structure, meaning that you only have access to the information that is truly relevant to you within your job role, rather than having access to everything across all corporate environments and aggregated content. These communities may allow you to be grouped by department or division, and they are a strong part of content curation within Fuse.
Beyond this, every video that gets uploaded into Fuse automatically gets transcribed. The transcriptions can be used to add subtitles to videos, which means they are searchable, and users don’t have to consume an entire video to find what they need.
The obvious end result is that the 20% of the time you spent searching gets drastically reduced, giving you more time to absorb and apply your knowledge. The other is that the reduction in support time is effectively an investment in company performance. In giving users back the nearly 20% they spend searching for information, we’re giving them more opportunity to connect with the knowledge and expertise they need to improve their skills and performance.
We encourage our users to break down knowledge on the platform to concise organisational units because it really helps with search, but also because it’s part of the good knowledge management principles we promote. Fuse makes it easy for users to share their tacit knowledge, or the implicit knowledge that they gain through experience. Because our content methodology encourages these thought leaders to create and contribute knowledge, we’re effectively removing barriers to scale. Gone are the days where only L&D teams can create and contribute knowledge and keep it updated. Not only was the course structure bad for search, but the cumbersome process was equally bad for scalability.
We are using the power of the crowd to democratise content creation, and giving people the tools so that they can create content and get it into the system, and keep it up to date themselves. Between a powerful search functionality and a content methodology that fosters this type of scalability, we’ve come up with a recipe for success. The truth certainly is out there, and it lives in the demonstrable performance improvements we see in Fuse customers again and again. Thanks for reading!
Ask yourself: are courses really cutting it? And are they demonstrably impacting performance? Download our Igniting L&D that Fuels Business Performance today to find out why courses don’t give the skills and capability that high performing organisations need in the post COVID-19 world.