Meanwhile, employee engagement is in the basement—only 15 percent of employees worldwide are effectively engaged at work, despite the research that employee engagement plays huge dividends. Organizations that successfully engage employees, reduce turnover by 65 percent, grow revenue 26 percent faster, outperform other business by 202 percent, and see a 233 percent improvement in customer loyalty.
It turns out that these two trends: poor knowledge sharing and poor engagement—are actually more intertwined than is commonly understood.
Driven by the urge to help businesses create a knowledge-sharing culture that improves engagement and business outcomes, Give and Take designed Givitas, a web-based software platform that makes it easy for employees ask questions and offer help even in large organizations with a dispersed workforce. The result is better efficiency, engagement, and profitability.
In an interview with CIO Applications, Larry Freed, President and CEO of Give and Take, elaborates on how the company has innovated on the way employees collaborate and share knowledge within an organization.
What is the inspiration behind Give and Take?
Give and Take is the brainchild of three prominent social scientists, Adam Grant, Wayne Baker, and Cheryl Baker. In his bestselling book Give and Take, Dr. Grant from the Wharton School of Business showed how people who were generous at work are the most successful. Dr. Baker from the University of Michigan has done research showing that a willingness to ask for help on the job also makes employees more successful while also benefitting the organizations they work for. Meanwhile, Cheryl Baker has dedicated her career to improving work-related social capital and connection using technology.
There was a natural partnership between their three areas of focus: generosity at work, asking for help, and using technology to expand networks and increase connection. Giving everyone equal access to the collective intelligence of leaders and peers speeds up problem-solving skill, boosts efficiency, and creates a culture of productive generosity that improves employee engagement. Givitas creates a safe space for employees to ask for help with their jobs or work tasks, and it makes it easy to offer help.
Givitas uses purpose-built technology that makes knowledge sharing and collaboration fast, easy, and effective while improving culture
Can you please walk us through the solution?
Givitas uses purpose-built technology that makes knowledge sharing and collaboration fast, easy, and effective while improving culture. It works because it is focused. If you have a question, you post it in Givitas. Everyone else in the group gets notifications (via email, text, Slack, or other preferred methods) and can jump in when they see a request they can help with. The asker then rates the best answers so that Givitas also serves as a repository of institutional knowledge with the most-asked questions and the best solutions. We also have built-in functionality that encourages trust, connection, and gratitude, all of which support the overall mission of knowledge sharing and culture improvement.
Furthermore, Givitas easily integrates with Slack, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, and many other collaboration platforms. Unlike those general-purpose platforms, Givitas does not overwhelm people with all-day activity and notifications. It is really built to require less than 5 minutes a day to use it, or in many cases, less than 5 minutes a week.
Is there any specific industry or segment that Give and Take targets? And what are the specific pain points that Givitas addresses?
Our solution suite is beneficial to different industry segments and is most suitable for large enterprises, associations, nonprofits, and affinity groups with over a thousand employees or geographically distributed members.
Our research has helped us identify three major pain points.
First is the ubiquitous challenge of knowledge sharing in an enterprise environment. Despite existing collaboration and knowledge management solutions, employees are still wasting so much time looking for what exists in their network.
Another pain point is employee engagement. American companies are projected to spend $1.5 billion on employee engagement programs, yet the needle has hardly moved over the last decade. They simply are not working. Building and supporting a culture of productive generosity is a foundation that will give traditional engagement programs much better ROI.
The third would be diversity and inclusion, and this includes everything from geographical diversity to the more traditional categories of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. For large enterprises, it is essential that everyone has equal access to the collective intelligence of their network. Technology levels the playing field and creates a safe space for anyone to seek help or mentorship without needing to be an insider.
Can you talk about any particular case study or success story of Givitas where it helped your clients in attaining their business needs?
We worked with a Fortune 500 technology company with delivery centers distributed across the world. Each delivery center functioned as an independent silo without any convenient way to learn from mistakes or progresses made by other centers and share knowledge or collaborate. Implementing Givitas helped the company increase knowledge sharing and employee engagement. When we did a sample test after three months, 43 employees reported a saving of 595 hours and $122,000, which was an ROI of 850 percent.
What does the future hold for Give and Take?
For the next few months, our focus will be on further advancing metrics, since we see that our customers love being able to demonstrate value and ROI using the analytics we already provide. We are currently working on a network connectivity map that shows how Givitas increases and strengthens connections within a given network.