Engagement: The Link Between Social Business Solutions and Performance

May 2, 2018

There is no better predictor of employee performance than engagement.

Many of us are familiar with this point – whether in theory or in practice – as countless development programs and consulting services are based in part on the research done by Gallup regarding the relationship between employee engagement and on-the-job performance.

Using their proprietary Q12 instrument, Gallup has for years conducted research across tens of thousands of work groups and millions of employees. They have identified an irrefutable correlation between employees’ level of engagement and performance outcomes such as customer loyalty, profitability, productivity and quality. For example, using data from some of their latest studies, their 2016 report (Q12 Meta-Analysis Report) includes incredible insights like these:

  • Comparing business units in the top-quartile of engagement with those in the bottom-quartile resulted in median percentage differences of: 10% in customer loyalty/engagement21% in profitabilityand 20% in productivity
  • Top performing business/work units scoring in the top 1% of employee engagement quadruple their odds of successcompared with those in the bottom 1%

Simply put, higher engagement means better performance.

Along those same lines, a 2012 McKinsey report – The Social Economy – indicates “that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers by 20 to 25 percent.” Putting on my armchair researcher hat for a minute, it seems to me that the strengths of social business solutions line up pretty clearly with several of the Q12 criteria. In other words, the enhanced communication, collaboration and knowledge-sharing that result from the use of social business tools could be connected to higher ratings on at least the following Q12 items:

  • “At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” (Q3) – connecting employees’ expertise with the projects they work on
  • “At work, my opinions seem to count.” (Q7) – being able to comment on, rate, share or otherwise contribute to conversations across the business
  • “My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.” (Q9) – “working out loud” brings a new level of transparency and authenticity
  • “I have a best friend at work.” (Q10) – relationships matter, whether they’re down the hall or half-way around the world

Perhaps Gallup and McKinsey have a joint project here, exploring the connection between employee engagement, use of social business solutions and the bottom line.

How would you characterize your fellow employee’s level of engagement? What impact do you think increased collaboration and communication would have on their engagement? Do you think software platforms can affect an organization’s internal culture? We welcome your comments below!


About the author

Stan’s first experience with instructional technology occurred in 1999 when he used SMART Boards to help employees learn how to use the Microsoft Office Suite. He then became an instructional designer and systems trainer for a variety of proprietary CRM software solutions. From there, Stan worked as a Training Manager and later as a Project Manager for an early leader in online education. As his experience with online learning grew, and as his understanding of the need to connect strategy with technology evolved, Stan began to focus on the relationship between blended learning and social business. It was these insights that attracted him to Jive and Pokeshot’s SmarterPath LMS the first time he saw it in 2012. Stan’s current role with the company not only allows him to support the sales, marketing, and product development teams, but it also allows him to work directly with customers as they implement SmarterPath. Prior to joining Pokeshot in October 2016, Stan spent several years working as a freelance consultant, successfully completing learning technology projects for such clients as Right Management, National University System and the U.S. Forest Service.


Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!