The ROI of an employee directory is hard to measure.
That's because every employee search has a relatively small impact that's spread across a large number of people over a long period of time.
When your teams are searching for people hundreds of times a day, which is quite typical in most mid-sized organizations, there's a lot of time wasted if you're using an inefficient directory solution.
Research from McKinsey shows that the average worker spends "nearly 20 percent of their time tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks."
In other words, the average employee spends 1 out of every 5 work days just searching for people!
That's valuable time that should instead be going to meaningful work. Like helping your customers, and working towards your company's goals.
Another study of 1,001 American employees (I wonder who that last person was 🤔) across a variety of industries found that employees spend an average of 5 hours every week waiting to get in touch with people that have the unique knowledge they need.
Interestingly, 20 percent of workers reported duplicating the work of others because they’d been unable to reach the colleague in question.
What a waste of time.
Back in 2008, Siemens did a telephone survey of 513 small to medium businesses across 8 different countries and 8 different verticals.
There were a lot of interesting findings but the one that caught my attention was around barriers to communication:
61% of respondents find difficulty in establishing collaboration sessions with colleagues. Further, they spend an average of 3.3 hours per week attempting to address issues of inaccessibility, or other communication-tool based lack of full collaboration with colleagues.
This survey also reveals that 40% of the work week is lost to communication inefficiencies as a whole.
There's a million similar studies showing that miscommunication in the workplace is bad. Which is pretty obvious if you think about it, but what these studies do is attempt to quantify the impact.
Like 86% of corporate executives citing ineffective communication as a reason for workplace failures.
Or that a business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications, translating to an annual cost of $528,443.
And that miscommunication can cost an organization 25% to 40% of its annual budget.
Can an Employee Directory Solve These Issues?
Not all of them, of course.
Workplace communication is a big topic and an employee directory solves one part of that: the "connecting people" part.
What we know is that making it easier to find people in your organization means your company saves a lot of time, which equates to a lot of money. And of course there's all the social benefits too.