In Business Performance, Collaboration

Earlier this year, I was introduced to a powerful trio of social scientists who were working on a variety of fronts to help organizations improve employee engagement and business outcomes by creating giving cultures.

  • Dr. Wayne Baker: Wayne is a network science pioneer, University of Michigan Ross School of Business professor, and the author of Achieving Success Through Social Capital
  • Cheryl Baker: Cheryl is the co-creator of the Reciprocity Ring and a social capital and social science innovator who has worked to use technology to encourage pro-social practices on a wider scale.
  • Dr. Adam Grant: Adam is an organizational psychologist, Wharton professor and the New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take. You may have seen his TED talk on givers and takers.

They introduced me to a compelling concept; one I’ve known intuitively for years, but they had the research to prove it: knowledge collaboration and a giving culture makes employees and organizations more successful.

To put that in research terms, empowering and enabling employees to share knowledge and information easily, efficiently, and effectively speeds up response times, drives employee engagement, and fosters a giving culture.

These issues of engagement, efficiency, and productivity are real issues in the modern age of knowledge workers:

  • Two-thirds of American workers are not engaged at work, costing between $438 billion and $605 billion per year. (Source: Gallup)
  • Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202% (Source: Business 2 Community)
  • Companies in the Fortune 500 lose $31.5 billion per year when employees fail to share knowledge effectively. (Source: Harvard Business Review)
  • The average worker spends more than one quarter of their workweek managing email and nearly one-fifth looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues can help with specific tasks. (Source: McKinsey)

Together, Wayne, Cheryl, Adam, and I created Give and Take to solve these problems and help companies create knowledge collaboration at scale.

Our knowledge collaboration platform is called Givitas, and it integrates with existing apps and tools to allow employees to efficiently and effectively share knowledge, thereby harnessing the collective intelligence of an organization and making it easier and faster for employees to ask, share and give. Givitas users are transforming their organizations and creating a giving culture in just five minutes a day.

Give and Take helps organizations of all sizes:

  • Improve knowledge sharing within an organization in order to improve response times, increase efficiency, and boost productivity, while also advancing engagement and reducing turnover.
  • Build social capital, since building stronger relationships within an organization leads to improved engagement, loyalty, collaboration, and productivity.
  • Capture organizational memory in order to solve problems and give answers, serving as a repository to the best quality information.
  • Foster a “giving culture,” where employees are able to efficiently help each other, improving employee engagement and improving social capital across a company.
  • Drive better business outcomes since higher rates of giving are predictive of higher unit profitability, productivity, efficiency, retention and customer satisfaction, along with lower costs.

If you’d like to help build a giving culture at your organization, let us know. We’d love to talk!

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adam Grant cofounder givitasGIvitas culture of generosity