Organizations are always looking for ways to enhance productivity, and while workplace collaboration has been a buzzword for some time now, the word “collaboration” is too broad, because so much falls into that bucket. The next advancement in business productivity builds on collaboration and digital transformation by creating workstream experiences for each role within an organization. These experiences multiply productivity and excellence and, ultimately, set up employees for success.

How can you enhance a sales manager’s productivity who has to deliver against quarterly quotas? Create a unique workstream that enables the manager to collaborate with peers and that brings all of the knowledge and tools he or she needs in one centralized experience. This approach can help, for example, a managed care specialist who is also a registered nurse or physical therapist. Giving these workers the tools they need in a way that does not take them out of their daily workflow allows them to stay productive and focused.

Organizations that have systems or tools in place to empower employees to solve problems on their own, or with the networked power of peer knowledge, help employees get back to work quickly with minimum interruption to themselves or others. In a recent survey by Braidio, 81 percent of American office workers said that peer collaboration helps their productivity, and 48 percent said it is their preferred method of learning at work. Additionally, online knowledge sources powered by social intelligence can decrease the time it takes to solve a problem in the workplace. Using these tools, employees can see how their co-workers have solved the same problems and answered the same questions.

Twenty percent of company knowledge is locked in data silos. The other 80 percent is locked in employees’ heads. Workstreams help to deliver the cycle of knowledge to capture and formalize the informal knowledge employees use every day. This knowledge is intellectual property that is often never captured and formalized for use by everyone in the company. To help solve this problem, here are five tips to organize workstreams for your organization.

1. Provide Easy Access to Information.

Often, information resides across different silos within an organization; look for ways to provide centralized and convenient access to knowledge and information.

2. Enable Real-Time Collaboration.

Empower your organization with easy ways to collaborate using chat, voice and video collaboration tools. Ensure that employees can quickly query and search these conversation threads for reference later.

3. Connect and Network Peers.

Create an environment that makes it easy for employees to connect with each other based on interests or areas of expertise. Your employees are your biggest source of intellectual capital, so unlock that value and empower your employees to share knowledge and solve problems together.

4. Capture Informal Knowledge.

Much of the knowledge created by organizations is informal by nature. Businesses need to capture that knowledge through tools that index and make information searchable.

5. Put It all Together.

Most organizations have tools or services to do some or all of the above tasks, but often, they are siloed experiences that create friction within employees’ daily workflows. Look for ways to consolidate some or all of these experiences to maximize productivity and enhance value.

In 2018 and beyond, learning and productivity need an employee-centric approach in which knowledge and information are centered around their needs and easy to pull so they don’t have to chase information from one knowledge silo to the next. Siloed experiences are not effective, and social proximal networks, like workstreams, are helping to bridge those gaps. Embrace new collaborative approaches, and you’ll boost overall productivity.

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