Many organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.
As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.
Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?
Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.
The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.
If you’re success tracking for your team, for example tracking your Facebook page against your competitors, then there’s no need for privacy controls – you are both the player and the manager.
However if it’s your team who are success tracking then you are the manager and they are the players.
As a success tracking manager you need to lay aside your old dogma of command and control and instead use coaching and calculation to influence your staff behaviour.
As a coach you are as interested in your player’s development, as you are in the success of the team – they go hand in hand: team success and player success. You cannot have one without the other.
As a calculator your job is to create and maintain a score algorithm that blends both sets of objectives. The score algorithm, it’s ranking rules, metrics and weightings, now become your management lever instead of traditional sticks and carrots.
On the player side we know from Deci and Ryan’s research that high performance comes in a context where they feel in control of their circumstances. In most cases that means having some power over how you are measured.
Contexts supportive of autonomy, competence, and relatedness were found to foster greater internalization and integration than contexts that thwart satisfaction of these needs. This latter finding, we argue, is of great significance for individuals who wish to motivate others in a way that engenders commitment, effort, and high-quality performance. – Deci and Ryan (2000)
A good success tracking system should therefore offer players a number of abilities that allow them to control and manipulate the scoring system, without compromising the overall goals of the program for the manager.
Examples of this might include:
a granular level of privacy over how they are represented on any leaderboard (whether shown as anonymous or identified)
control over their inclusion in the program (the ability to opt-in to receiving a score without appearing on the leaderboard, the ability to opt-out entirely, the right to erasure)
communications forums such as a scoring committee or leadership council with the ability to represent the views of players
transparency over how the score algorithm works (the ability to reverse engineer so you can see how you got your score)
control over how your score and rank is displayed on your social profile (the ability to choose to highlight your best score ever versus your latest score for example)
Now, not all success tracking programs will be able to offer players all the possible controls. There are some contexts – for example a sales leaderboard at work – where opt-out is not viable – however we believe that by maximising the controls available to the player, a manager can, to paraphrase Deci and Ryan, provide a context that supports autonomy and that leads to greater buy-in and ultimately higher performance.
We might characterise it as “Give more to Get more“.