In Collaboration

A lot of the organizations we work with already have Slack, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, or another communication and collaboration tool in place. Often they have more than one, with different teams adopting different tools.

At my last company, we used Skype to communicate with colleagues in different departments, and we used SalesForce Chatter to communicate with sales colleagues and ask questions about clients or deals. The problem was that only salespeople were on Chatter, so we didn’t get the benefit of any knowledge from product, customer success, marketing, legal, finance, or implementation. If we needed expertise from those teams, we had to know who to go to with a specific question. And if we didn’t know who to go to? Honestly, more often than not, we’d forge ahead and make the best of it or spend a lot of time tracking down an answer.

Even with existing collaboration tools, most people in America still don’t ask for help at work.  People are afraid to ask for help at work and also hesitate to go out of their way to help others, and general-purpose platforms have not solved that persistent problem.

In fact, a common theme in a recent LinkedIn workplace study was that a willingness to ask for and offer help would address almost all of the top 10 challenges that employees in the United States are facing right now. And this is still true despite record adoption of tools that make communication more efficient!

Slack, Yammer, Teams . . . they all have their place and can be critically important to communication within an enterprise. But none were designed specifically for sharing knowledge,  building relationships, or creating psychological safety, and so they can’t get to the root of these issues.

Givitas can. Most of our customers use it very effectively in conjunction and integrated with a general-purpose tool like Slack or Teams. Here’s how they work together. 

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A culture of productive generosity drives positive business outcomes.

Givitas is backed by research. Unlike collaboration tools that are driven by enabling communication functionality, Givitas is evidence-based technology that can elicit and encourage people to ask for and generously offer help to one another in an efficient manner. Givitas draws on research from leading experts,  bestselling authors, and our co-founders Adam Grant (Wharton) and Wayne Baker (University of Michigan). Their research has proven that connecting employees to ask for and offer help has both organizational and individual benefits.

In fact, (McKinsey) Research shows that the frequency with which employees help one another predicts sales revenues, profits, costs, customer service quality, creativity, productivity, revenues, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction, and performance quality. When employees freely contribute their knowledge and skills to others, research also suggests that this helping-behavior facilitates organizational effectiveness by:

  • Enabling employees to solve problems and get work done faster
  • Enhancing team cohesion and coordination
  • Ensuring that expertise is transferred from experienced to new employees
  • Reducing variability in performance when some members are overloaded or distracted
  • Establishing an environment in which customers feel that their needs are the organization’s top priority

The “asking for help” stigma still exists. 

Despite the widespread usage of communication technologies, people are still afraid to ask for help at work. If we don’t create a feeling of safety and acceptance of asking for help, our employees simply won’t do it. 

Since Givitas is purpose-built only for asking for and offering help, bringing it on board sends a strong signal to your team that you support the exchange of help in the workplace. It does more than just pay lip service to the concept, Givitas offers a tool backed by social science research showing that asking for help and generously offering help at work is something that is supported by your organization.

Givitas also has built-in content and functionality that teaches users about the importance of reciprocity at work. Using a series of in-app prompts, engagement emails, and other techniques, we’ll teach your team as they use Givitas why it’s so good for them personally and for the organization overall.

Employees don’t know who to ask for help, and knowledge is siloed.

If you know who to ask for help and you have a decent relationship with them, it’s easy. Just walk over to their desk, IM them, or give them a ring and ask your question. But when you don’t know who to ask, it gets trickier. This confusion is part of what contributes to billions of dollars being lost annually when people fail to share knowledge effectively.

Meanwhile, access to knowledge is often siloed by team or division.  For example, a new member of the customer success team may need help from the sales organization but doesn’t know anyone. The customer success team primarily uses Teams, the sales team uses Salesforce Chatter, and the product team uses an internally-developed tool. We see this all the time.  

The very nature of multiple tools creates the need for a purpose-built, enterprise-ready tool to harness the collective knowledge of our colleagues. Used across an entire company, or even across one function (like sales) but with a variety of people able to chime in. 

Givitas connects people who may not otherwise have access to one another for the sole purpose of exchanging help. No one has to know who to ask anymore. They just ask Givitas and the collective intelligence of the enterprise will have the answer.

It is possible to give every equal access to expertise.

Despite many organizations’ best efforts to give everyone equal access to advice, mentorship, and information, there are still people who feel shut out (whether that’s because of personality or minority status). Givitas gives all team members equal access to the collective intelligence, knowledge, and experience of the network, regardless of tenure, department, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor that can make someone feel excluded. It levels the playing field, and several of our customers leverage tools like Givitas during the hiring process as evidence of an equal-access culture. 

General-purpose tools can become noisy and inefficient.

Channels like Slack and Yammer can get noisy, crowded, and overwhelming, making it easy for people to miss genuine requests even when they are willing to help. I know our Slack currently has discussions on everything from new employees to the Game of Thrones finale to product ideas to company book club discussions to new customer announcements. I find that it’s very easy to miss things unless I’m checking it all day, which I can’t do if I’m doing my job.

When a technology platform has a single mission (for example, tax software has a single mission versus a general purpose financial software solution has broader goals but might not be so helpful at tax prep), it’s much easier to ensure that the mission is achieved. Our mission is giving people a place to ask for and offer help.

Being purpose-built allows us to spend time meticulously building out features like gratitude, offer ratings, filtering, search capabilities, tagging, and more. Givitas offers a searchable organizational memory of frequently asked questions with the best answers as well as extensive filtering and notification capabilities. These features are all designed to make Givitas efficient to use. People spend a few minutes at most on Givitas each day, and on average save 6-12 hours or more than $1000 for each request they make.

Unburden the “experts.”

Often you’ll have one person in a department who is known as the “go-to” person, and they end up answering questions instead of doing their own work.

Givitas harnesses the collective intelligence of your whole team, so employees don’t have to rely on one or two subject matter experts to answer questions.  That frees those subject matter experts to go back to their day jobs and makes them more efficient.

In fact, they don’t even have to know who to go to—they can just throw their request out. Often the best answers come from unexpected places.

Analytics and metrics can help you understand organizational dynamics.

Givitas offers analytics and metrics that provide deeper insight on how generosity impact’s a business than anything available in other collaboration tools. Community administrators can see who’s asking and who’s helping, how much time and money is saved, as well as have access to network maps that help you identify organizational strengths and weaknesses. These metrics can also provide an important cultural snapshot to leadership. 

To Summarize

  • Most enterprises are using a number of general purpose communication tools (SalesForce, MS Teams, email, custom-built solutions, etc.) across the enterprise, often in silos, making it very challenging for individuals to leverage the broader employee group for help and collaboration.
  • Givitas is built to complement these other tools. Our use of content-rich and context-driven notifications can be delivered wherever an employee spends their time (Slack, Teams, email, SMS, etc), making the collaboration, asking for help, and giving help efficient and easy.
  • Our purpose-built approach differentiates us from the noise in other tools and allows us to complement those tools.  Givitas enables enterprises to identify the “one place” where team members can go when they have a question and don’t know who to ask.  It engages the entire community, notifying them when someone needs help, and allowing them to review what help is needed from the notification.
  • Givitas provides analytics on the collaboration and contribution mindset of teams and individuals.  We help you identify the best givers, which is a great attribute of a potential leader who is focused on the team, not just on themselves.  We also identify those that are asking for help — another great attribute where they are putting the project they are working on, the problem they are solving, the customer they are serving and/or the company in front of their own ego. These both are critical to not only improving productivity, but also keeping a strong focus on the customer experience.

If you’re already using Slack or Teams or anything like that, we encourage you to try out Givitas in your enterprise and watch as people become more willing to ask for help and more excited about helping each other. It’s a knowledge collaboration tool with a special secret power… improving the lives of individual employees while also improving business outcomes.

For a great list of the top 36 integrations with Microsoft Teams, check out Mio’s roundup (Givitas is on it!)

We’d love to show you how Givitas works and how it integrates with other tools you’re using now.

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