All employees have good days and bad days – sadly, it’s the bad ones that remain most memorable and can often attract a black cloud over the personal job satisfaction. This in turn plays havoc with motivation and the downward spiral kicks in.
Studies have shown that managers’ behavior dramatically affects an employees’ work. And with the Peters Principle alive, well and kicking it doesn’t take a genius to work out that perhaps delinking an individual’s personal performance from their managers perception and personality might just have a positive impact. In some interesting research by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer’s carried out over three years daily entries by knowledge workers over revealed how dramatic this impact can be.
People need continuous, honest feedback of their work and the opportunity to improve based on their own efforts. The single most powerful motivator for employees is their ability to make progress in their work. Often this progress is shrouded in a raft of small calamities that naturally occur throughout a workday, or the mood of a work colleague or boss. Having a personal dashboard gives an employee the truth without the attitude. It helps individuals see past the gloom and recognise small incremental gains in their performance. If the dashboard is correctly designed to link performance to corporate strategic goals, it also helps them understand how their work contributes the overall success of the business. This in itself is a powerful motivator.
The motivational strategy of many managers is somewhat misguided, especially when praise is given without real progress. Equally, good progress without recognition is more demotivating; especially for Gen Yrs who thrive on instant feedback.
As an admission, I am not an HR expert, or even a manager of a large team, but I have been a performance coach and consultant for nearly 30 years and have worked with a lot of different businesses, managers and teams. I am however an expert in the power of business intelligence – and it’s not just for measuring operational and marketing performance. Personal dashboards should be on the desktop of every employee. They provide the transparency of real performance, without the filtration by management. They relieve managers from micro-managing their teams and empower individuals to make small incremental improvements in their daily tasks.
The power of personal dashboards is not just with the task workers. Managers also benefit greatly from them. Most managers are generally overworked and overstressed and it is almost impossible to isolate these feelings from your staff. Using technology to help manage team performance makes a lot of sense, and releases managers to evolve to a more coaching and leadership role.