I have been reading the “Power of 2”, by Rodd Wager and Gale Muller, and was intrigued by some of the research cited in the book.  Specifically, how partnerships at work serve as a powerful driver for engagement, satisfaction and happiness.

Some interesting findings:

1) Employees with just one collaborative relationship are 29% more likely to say they will stay with their company for the next year and 42% more likely to intend to remain with their current employer for their entire career, compared to those with no partnerships.

2) The median number of work partnerships for an American employee is just four….even though the highest levels  of happiness and employee engagement kick in when a person has 5-10 good alliances.

3) 16% of the employee population has zero partnerships at work. Asked if they have ever had a great partnership at work, nearly one-quarter of employees say no.

This data made me think about the Keyhubs work we have done with some clients. Following is the collaborative network of a small, 50 person division.  Some folks have much more partnership activity than others:

The median number of partnerships in this network is 4 – inline with the national average. 25% of the employees have 6+ collaborative relationships (i.e. highly engaged).

There are 8 people with zero collaborative relationships — or 16% of the workforce – also inline with the national average:

If partnerships tell us something about employee satisfaction, do these maps tell us about the engagement fabric of an organization?  Can these maps help firms create strategies for sustaining and boosting collaboration?  With this information in hand, can your company do more to help bring isolates “back in the fold”?

To reiterate what I discussed in an earlier blog post, mapping informal networks can help organizations visualize employee engagement, minimize the risk of turnover and provide insight regarding partnerships at work – a leading indicator of employee satisfaction.