Measuring employee’s on the quality of their work and gifting; based on how well they utilise their online network
"When an organization doles out bonuses, raises, awards and promotions based on individual contributions, what’s the carrot for social participation?
I, for example, am mainly measured by my individual efforts: how many customers I work with who go on to buy my software; what leadership roles I fulfill inside and outside the organization; what assets I create for others to reuse. This is all right and good, for how else can an individual be measured"
Will sourcing my network for help, reduce the measure of assets I produce, if so I will produce something of less value on my own, at least I get all the credit and a bag of carrots?
This is a generalisation, we are all wired to socially connect, some more than others, (in fact we don’t survive unless we build horizontal relationships and help each other out…think about who helped you iron out an issue on your recent spreadsheet, or who helped you find a person or locate information last week) but this natural behaviour is impeded by organisational design constraints (ie. time should ideally be spent on our own tasks).
Gia explains what prompted her post. She was contemplating whether to go the social route on a task or to keep it to herself, as she isn’t measured on how well she uses her network, she says:
"…there is a direct correlation between the number of assets I create in a quarter, and my quarterly bonus…"
This is not about engagament and what’s in it for me.
And it’s not about incentives to participate; what this is about is recognising people for how well they work based on utilising their network (MIT study found that in one organization the employees with the most extensive personal digital networks were 7% more productive than their colleagues).
And something more deeper than ratings, which I covered in my post, The ROI of time spent helping others, and performance reviews
Will how well I use my network to tap into talent to produce that report be recognised, compared to just using my team resources?
"What’s missing is a measurement of how well I use my network…how do we measure a person’s prowess at making their individual contributions better because they knew who knew what, and had a relationship with them such that they could tap their expertise…whether directly or through their social contributions, at a moment’s notice?"
Now we are talking about being recognised and measured for how well we use our network to deliver our requirements.
Coupled with this is the time spent building your network, and building and maintaining relationships. For more see my post, People who invest in creating a relationship with you are rewarded with your experienced POV
Basically you need time to spend using social tools to get to know people so you can use them properly.
Here’s how Gia puts it:
"To network, one must be social, must participate in online communities as well as offline, must spend time getting to know others and letting others know them.
Aha. Being social requires a stiff price: spending our most precious commodity, Time.
So really, we are asking people to spend precious time to do something for which they are not measured."
And her conclusion:
"Fix this, and you will have removed a major obstacle to the inside-the-firewall business adoption of social networking and productivity behavior."
It’s a fact that we utilise our networks in an offline way to get our work done. Now we can also do this online.
But does this mean we now need a way to measure this just because we can see it? Or have we always wanted to recognise people for how well their network works for them, only we had no way to do it?
Or is the reason a tactic ie. a way to increase adoption ie. the more we recognise contributions, the more people participate?
I think it’s all of these, and also a way to encourage cross-silo awareness and collaboration.
Look at the reverse of this. We take the time from our tasks to help others on their tasks, as this is reciprocated or perhaps this is the organisational culture. Our bosses understand that even though they pay us and give us time to deliver our tasks, that sometimes they are actually paying us to help out others…as long as it’s not detrimental to our own tasks, or our health.
Given this do we need to be measured, not just as Gia puts forth on how well we source and utilise our network to deliver our work, but also how frequent and valuable our gifts to others are.
I always use the quote by Bertrand Duperrin:
"…businesses don’t know how not to pass a local cost along to the the whole organization since everyone has to justify the way the allowed funds are used…businesses don’t understand free across its departments."
Which is similar to Prems notion of Social collaboration:
"Where people collaborate outside of the contractual obligations? Which means outside of the role structures & job descriptions in the organization? Typical of a matrix organization, no? What do you think? What are your views on ‘social collaboration’ and ‘role power’ in a collaborative enterprise (a bit more complex than a matrix organization)?"
I think this is a variation of Google 20% time or non-commissioned work or cognitive surplus. In that model you are free to spend some time to work on your passion, whereas I’m still talking about regular tasks set by your unit…but what I’m getting at is that your boss is ok for you to spend a certain portion of time in gifting others as the organisation at large will absorb that cost from your business unit.
eg. 10% of your work week can be spent on tasks that are not your own, or perhaps volunteer on.
Doesn’t this happen anyway…yep, but if it’s part of official organisational design I think it’s a step forward to growing into a collaborative enterprise; and certainly a win for "sharing" in KM circles. It’s also a win for employee enagagement, as workers can be fulfiled gravitating to tasks that interest them.
2min50sec - In reference to not just team work, but to enterprise-wide
"My provocation is why would you not bake into everyone’s job description and into their performance review some level of enterprise helpfulness or enterprise collegiality"
Oscar Berg nails it:
Luis Suarez nails it answering a question in a video (22mins) where he says he often works on tasks on other teams but does not get financially compensated, and maybe this is something that HR needs to look at in order to keep up with the way we work now. But he said there are potential intangible benefits ie. if in the future he is looking for some work he will have goodwill with those he has helped out in the past, and you will have demonstrated your competence and character…and they more often than not will help you out. But it may even be that your job security is ok, all you need is some expertise outside the skills of your team…ah yes reciprocity.
A paradox for employees today is that they really need to connect with and collaborate more with more people, and strengthen their personal networks if they are to deliver better results and strengthen our their positions. One problem they are facing when doing this is that most current incentive models do not reward employees helping their colleagues, unless there is a direct and measurable return on their contributions. Another problem is that many organizations fail at making the contributions that employees do outside of their own team visible, and thus if fails to recognize them. These problems put people in a kind of deadlock position. During uncertain times, most people will simply do what becomes visible and recognized by those who evaluate them, their managers. They will most likely also most be asked or commended by their managers to do so, because their managers are in a similar position as they will be judged by their managers on the visible contributions from the team they are managing (and so it goes on, all the way to the top).