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Advertising sector workers waste up to 20 days every year looking for internal support, new research reveals

According to new research undertaken by internal talent engine, ProFinda, employees are wasting valuable work hours looking for support in their roles, as they are unable to identify internal expertise from within their own organisations.

This wasted time supports recent findings by the Government, released in the latest Autumn Statement, which shows the UK is falling far behind its other G7 counterparts including the US (+26% on the UK), France (+27% on the UK) and Germany (+32% on the UK) in terms of GDP output per hour worked.

ProFinda surveyed 4,000 employees across six B2B sectors and found the average employee is wasting 20 working days per year looking for the internal skills and resource to support them on projects.

The survey found that, on average, employees spent around two hours looking for help per search, with 27% of employees eventually giving up – leaving projects improperly resourced or incomplete.

Of those who continue with their search for assistance, only 40% of respondents found the response adequate enough to progress the project.

As part of the research, respondents were also asked their preferred techniques for searching skilled assistance. The highest ranking results of which included: phoning people they knew (71%); walking around the office to ask colleagues (60%); and internet / intranet searches (50%).

Employees are also quick to invest in external help when the appropriate talent might already be residing inside the organisation. Across the surveyed respondents, 20% of people claim they look outside their organisations for help when achieving their objectives.

This time wasted is contributing to the global productivity crisis which is particularly impacting the UK economy. A recent productivity survey, conducted by the Office of National Statistics, revealed that “if we (as a nation) raised our productivity by just 1% every year, within a decade we would add £250bn to the size of our economy or £9,000 for every household in Britain”.

In addition to this time lost in searching for external talent, ProFinda’s research also revealed that 33% of employees surveyed feel under-utilised in their current position, suggesting a wealth of untapped potential within the global workforce to increase productivity.

Roger Gorman, Founder and CEO at ProFinda commented: The global economy, and in particular the UK, is suffering from a well-documented productivity crisis which is costing businesses of all sizes phenomenal amounts of time, money and resources each year. This survey has highlighted, for the first time, that it’s poor internal communication and zero awareness of a colleague’s experience, that is really the main productivity killer. So, by implementing solutions to better map out and connect internal skills, and making this data easily accessible, an organisation can at last see significant cost savings returns. By simply reconnecting lost knowledge, we will see a significant increase in effectiveness of team and workforce planning, and utilisation. Businesses can at last truly address the fiscal implications of these massive issues and begin to put a dent in that £250bn potential cash-injection available to the economy.”

ProFinda’s research focused on: the length of time spent searching for internal support; the average response time and helpfulness of those responses; and the channels which employees used to search for help. The sectors included construction, infrastructure and engineering, professional services, media and financial services. The full resulting whitepaper, containing the full results of the survey, can be found and downloaded at: