BetterWorks CEO: Treat Feedback Like A Fitbit - InformationWeek

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BetterWorks CEO: Treat Feedback Like A Fitbit
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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
4/26/2015 | 5:39:26 PM
Re: BetterWorks CEO: Treat Feedback Like A Fitbit
As a couple others are saying, I think the concept is sound at it's core (and speaks to a general need for a more comfortable culture in the workplace), but I found myself wanting to know a few more specifics about BetterWorks' software. What are some features that set it apart from other solutions of it's type? Mr. Duggan seems like a smart CEO, well aware of the dangers of simply sitting unused after implementation like many Social or UC tools do. Users don't want to do any extra work - that's counter to the purpose of the software - and the option of quick 'likes' and an easy-to-read dashboard-like UI sound smartly engineered. Still, I wonder if the public element will cause users discomfort. Getting 'nudged' when I'm behind on a goal by someone I don't know sounds like a great way to get me to avoid that person at all costs - but, in the right company culture, that might not be the case..

I definitely, definitely agree that culture is paramount. Rolling something like this out overnight and expecting (or forcing) users to use it sounds like a recipe for disaster - after all, if people are self-monitoring their progress, they could easily just fudge the numbers. To that end, though, I would expect any solution would have to be highly customizable to suit a wide variety of businesses. Metrics of what goals look like will vary widely by company and even by department (easy example: no. of sales/customers may or may not be as important as dollar value of sales/customers). I would say it's precisely because a one-size-fits all approach is impossible that most software like this fails. Does BetterWorks have something in mind to combat this problem? It seems like they themselves would cater particularly to large businesses - do they work with clients to fine-tune the solution to their needs?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
4/24/2015 | 1:58:33 PM
Re: Great for personal use, but corporate environments can be a little harsh
@SunitaTO- Yes, you have to have the balance of motivating and celebrating. But one thing I think is true of most of us is that we'd rather be the one being celebrated. So it is a nice motivating incentive to think your work will be noticed, respected, and celebrated. And yes, managing it is key. One thing that is easy to do is sort of ignore this like every other thing we're too busy to do. This has to be a priority to create a feedback loop that transforms rather than is just another thing to do.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 1:47:59 PM
Re: Great for personal use, but corporate environments can be a little harsh
@Stratustician: knowing the proper limit of poking ones nose in someone else's business is a tactic most organisation managers don't know, or are too bookish to care. If it were me I would cringe too.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 1:44:51 PM
Re: Great for personal use, but corporate environments can be a little harsh
@David: I agree with you, but I differ by a small margin. Celebrating publicly is okay, but at the same time motivating employees to do better, that is why an organisation succeeds. Everyone has the right to enjoy after a successful project but they also have to keep in mind that they have to do better than what thye did to deserve the celebration. Since there are so many movable parts of work, it needs to be maintained and managed properly.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
4/23/2015 | 3:02:41 PM
Re: Great for personal use, but corporate environments can be a little harsh
Great point. It's about ensuring the transition is all inclusive, or as you mention, it's hard to get cross team buy-in
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
4/23/2015 | 2:59:14 PM
Re: Great for personal use, but corporate environments can be a little harsh
@stratustician- Well, I think that's all about cultural change. Make the success of your employees public. Celebrate it. And the culture will follow. Pretty soon you've got a giant love fest.

Keep it in private, and you sow distrust.

One thing Kris said that I didn't get to in the story is that a Deloitte study showed very few people trusted people outside of their own teams to do what they said they were going to do. And that leads them to often duplicating the wor themselves or even actively sabotaging their co-workers.

Showing in public what everyone is accomplishing may end some of that distrust. That said, I am not trying to downplay the transition.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
4/23/2015 | 2:54:57 PM
Great for personal use, but corporate environments can be a little harsh
I like the concept, since we can all agree often we tend to have our big corporate yearly goals, and after the January/February planning season, we tend to forget about them until the fall, and play catchup to make sure we hit those goals.  Having a constant reminder of how we are tracking is a great concept.  But making it public, that is where I lose a little faith.

Corporate environments aren't generally very supportive.  Yes, I have worked for companies who have great social culture and there is lots of internal support from employees when it comes to working and supporting other employee initiatives.  But in many cases, a lot of employees just don't care.  I hate to say it, but there is a general population in many organizations who would view this as a form of micromanagement or as an attack if they feel they are now being tracked even more than their in-house metrics (whatever they may be, CRM, etc). 

Gamification is a great idea, but you really have to be conscious of the culture of the organization and how employees will respond to this type of idea. 


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