Have you noticed that HR professionals seem to love boating metaphors? New hires are “onboarded.” Great teamwork is described as “everyone rowing in the same direction.” In discussing how to improve performance without damaging morale, you can expect to hear someone in HR say “we’re steering through treacherous waters here” at some point.
One aspect that this metaphor gets right is that the individual performance of each team member impacts everyone in the company. Smooth sailing depends on each crew member doing their part to the best of their ability. On the turbulent seas of the global economy, a sudden squall can sink the entire enterprise unless all hands pull together as a single unit.
We created Buzzuzz because the trial-and-error method of building a cohesive team is too slow. There’s often not enough time to turn the ship around when the rocks of disruption appear or to make course corrections in response to rapid changes in the market. Buzzuzz is an instantaneous peer review and performance tracking web application that we have gamified to amp up participation and made anonymous to assure honest feedback. The result is stronger teams who know where they stand and are able to collaborate better based on known strengths and capabilities.
Essentials of the Buzzuzz Performance Scoring System
As your employees review others on their team on a weekly basis, everyone receives a scorecard of ratings on a scale from -2 to +2. Employees rate each other on factors such as how professional, helpful, productive and innovative team members are currently and where the company as a whole can improve. Scores are averages of inputs of each criterion, so there doesn’t have to be any recriminations or hard feelings.
Very quickly, identifiable patterns of performance will form for each employee, individually and in tandem with specific work teams, so that business leaders can head off developing issues before they rock the boat.
Common Reactions From Your Employees
After you implement Buzzuzz, prepare for some resistance and confusion when employees start accumulating their scores. These discussions are rich with insights about how your team will interpret what the scores mean to them.
Just as each company has its own unique character and goals, each employee will bring something unique to their reading of the scores. It’s common for some of your employees to be disappointed by receiving anything less than a full +2, which is actually fairly rare.
As a rule of thumb, any score below 0 should be addressed, and anything above 0 is a positive that deserves recognition.
Questions that leaders often hear include:
- How do I improve my professionalism score?
- What is an objective measure of productivity in my role/department/industry?
- Why does innovation matter in a professional environment?
The answers don’t matter as much as the discussions, which will help to define your company culture and align the efforts of team members around data-driven measure of success. Buzzuzz was specifically built to make people aware of how their actions and behavior impact their coworkers.
Tips on Improving Performance Scores
After your team gets a rough idea of where they stand and where improvements would make the biggest effect on performance, you can assign a project lead to come up with suggestions for moving in the right direction.
For example, to improve professionalism scores, team members can share advice on:
- Arriving for work on time and ready for anything
- Treating each other with respect and politeness
- Spending more time listening to coworkers
- Stopping themselves from saying things that could be interpreted as offensive
- Dressing to matches the company’s brand image
- Following best practices and guidelines
- Speaking and writing with greater clarity
Similarly, to improve productivity scores, your team can brainstorm on how to:
- Share critical updates on work progress
- Set standards for transparency that include achievements and challenges
- Prioritize tasks and stay focused on the ultimate prize
- Reorient any project to achieve specific results
If someone wants to dial up their helpfulness score, make a list of ways to:
- Proactively offer assistance to peers who seem overwhelmed
- Look for other resources that could lift the entire team
- Strive for balance to avoid actions that merely shift work to other team members
To be more innovative and stay relevant in a turbulent economy, try:
- Applying ideas from other industries to tackling common problems
- Sharing stories of innovation successes and failures to find commonalities
- Setting aside time each week to research innovative business concepts
- Testing out hypotheses, even if they don’t seem to make sense initially
Buzzuzz is a holistic system that not only gives managers actionable insights into performance metrics, but also empowers employees to stay aware and engaged for more productive collaborations. Employees can use the system as a self-serve, on-demand portal for monitoring and adjusting their own progress at work.
Data-Driven Decision-Making in the New World
In the old world, HR management was driven by rigid rules, intuition or the opinion of the highest paid person in the room. That ship has sailed.
Today, data-driven decision support produces smarter companies that are agile enough to react immediately to market adjustments. Those companies still charting their course using the stars and compass may never make it to the farther shore.
If you have tried Buzzuzz or would like to, let us know. We’d love to hear from you about your experience with assembling the perfect crew.