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Ever try to get the temperature at the office just right for everyone? - Jean-Marc Robillard - Blog

Ever try to get the temperature at the office just right for everyone?

Performance Management is very similar, in that measuring, assessing, and motivating your team is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

As a matter of fact, if the link between employee engagementand performance managementis not established on an individual contributor level, the entire plot of evaluating and managing performance is being missed.

Focusing on each and every employee's optimal performance triggers and getting them motivated, engaged, and generally satisfied with their work environment sounds like a lot of heavy lifting, but two technologies can help immensely in those areas.

1- Gamification

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Let me stop you right there, because I know you just became skeptical; I am not going to sell you on Gamification as a solution you need to tackle immediately, neither am I talking about playing Candy Crush during work hours.

The entire value proposition for gamification is based on the inherent design that allows for each individual employee to engage with the application in their own fashion, and for their own reasons and motivators.

A competitive individual will see huge value in challenging colleagues to a KPI contest to see who can hit their numbers first, and someone more introverted will take the opportunity to beat their own score from the previous period. The socialites in your company will take pleasure in exploring all the features like "high-fives" or "likes" when their colleagues hit their targets. The list goes on, and the one constant is that everyone gets involved, regardless of their personal preferences and motivational factors.

I've presented some very successful corporate gamification implementations in the past, and if you would like to consult some source material directly, I have 2 blogs to recommend:

  • - Founded by Gabe Zichermann, this site provides some of the best real-world examples of gamification making an impact in areas as diverse as cancer research, corporate employee engagement programs, and educational initiatives.
  • Jane McGonigal: The author of the New York Times Bestseller "Super Better" and guest on the Colbert Report shares her personal journey as well as other real-world applications for game mechanics.

2- Data Science

Some may perceive this as the other end of the technology spectrum - are we talking about Astrology and Astronomy in the same article? - but they would be missing the link between the behavioral influence of gamification, and the science of analyzing those behaviors.

Predictive analytics is vital to adjusting performance management programs at the individual level, since the data being analyzed is both aggregate and predictive. It provides context for how things are going in general, across the department - especially when compared with historical data, and/or comparably similar data from the same industry and demographics sources - as well as insight into individual patterns in behavior that may be indicative of an exception.

Examples of exceptions in individual behavioral patterns include a decline in motivation, increased absenteeism, a slow-down in productivity at work, also known as "Presenteeism", and a propensity for flight risk.

While I would shy away from saying that numbers alone can tell you exactly when an employee is about to quit, I will proffer that the combination of indicators above, along with personal observation, are a great way to know when it's time to have a chat and perhaps uncover what is going on in an employee's work and personal life, allowing you, as the manager or HR professional, to either avoid the loss of a valued employee, or precipitate a departure that is best for all parties involved.

Here are a few solid Data Science resources:

  • Data Science Central: I personally subscribe tho this journal, and it has been one of the most useful and progressive sources on my path to learning more about analytics.
  • Predictive analytics World: You can learn a lot from this blog about the How and Why behind consumer and client behavior.


When you consider how difficult it is to nurture and encourage success for every employee in your organization, and the fact that, right now, there are technologies and solutions that can help you on that path, saving you from the negative repercussions of wasted potential and the loss of high-performing employees - let alone the well-documented cost of high attrition or turnover - it makes sense to provide actionable insight to front-line managers, HR professionals, and team leaders.

Providing your managers with a thermostat, and the ability to tweak and adjust the parameters for each individual team member, is true performance management.

If you keep letting them use a thermometer, they can continue to provide the same update every week at your management meeting, and we all know how that story ends...


Publish Date: November 15, 2016 11:28 AM

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