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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 23, 2014

How to get more from employees

According to one expert there are two stumbling blocks to employee productivity: overtaxed IT departments who can't keep up with system integrations and businesses ability to recognize how important information is and how to use this knowledge as an asset. But, there are ways to get more from this data in 2015.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is "upskilling" and why should enterprises make this a priority?

Diane Berry, Chief Knowledge Evangelist and SVP Market Strategy, Coveo: Upskilling is helping employees gain skills via access to the consolidated, contextual knowledge and relevant experts they need, when they need them. When this happens, employees retain more knowledge, become more proficient at their jobs and are ultimately able to do higher-level work.

A perfect example of this is the onboarding of new employees. We've seen customers reduce the time it takes to onboard new employees by a factor, many times over. For example, one Fortune 50 healthcare company was able to reduce the time it took to onboard new support agents from two years down to two months, while hiring less technically skilled applicants, by providing them with a single enterprise search interface for a unified index--essentially a virtual integration of all the systems used by support agents. As a result, agents could more quickly and easily understand everything about a customer, their products and how to solve their challenges.

Kristina: How does access to prior knowledge help employees to do more meaningful work?

Diane: You're empowering your workforce by enabling them to become both more productive and proficient at their jobs--and therefore to contribute at a higher, more satisfying level. It eliminates the frustration of working on something the employee knows has been done before, but simply can't be leveraged, not to mention the significant opportunity cost for the company. By providing access to the organization's information, knowledge and expertise, it allows employees to create rather than re-do, adding more value. The result is a more engaged, efficient and proficient that can change and adapt quickly.

Kristina: How can technology help to reduce the skills gap in today's workforce?

Diane: The rapid pace of change in the modern work environment, the digitalization of the workplace, combined with the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the current and growing shortage of skills and talent, means fewer employees need to have more skills. With the volume, formats and types of data constantly changing, employees need quick, efficient access to information and knowledge in order to retain information, "upskill" themselves and become more proficient at their jobs.

Advanced enterprise search technology has the capacity to unify all of an organization's knowledge and expertise and to simply present only the relevant content and experts based on the context of each employee as they are working. This can be based on their past experience with the search engine, which "learns" what is important to each employee, or it can be embedded in systems where employees work most, such as a CRM or email, and show experts and content relevant to the task at hand. It can also be used to help offload certain types of work - such as customer support - to our savvy digital native customers.

With information, knowledge and expertise scattered throughout the "ecosystem of record," employees require the ability to harness all this information. Advanced enterprise search solutions help companies embrace the ecosystem of record to generate far more value from an often unleveraged asset, an organization's collective knowledge.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Coveo, employee productivity, SMB tools, SMB trends

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