The Following is an Op-Ed by Alden Gannon, CEO of PropsToYou
PropsToYou (http://propstoyou.com) is a new kind of gamified productivity application for teams. It allows you to track tasks, projects and assignments, but it adds a whole new twist. While most gamified systems are based in counting clicks or rewarding specific goals, the PropsToYou awards are given for long-term work habits discovered through deep data mining. While you are working on tasks and recording your progress, we are searching for patterns in the data, looking for evidence of your work habits and rewarding positive traits, like getting to work quickly, helping teammates, exercising unique skills and doing quality work. Once a week, we announce the award winners and promote their accomplishments to the whole team, who can offer congratulations. Rather than offer fixed goals to aim for, the PropsToYou awards are often a surprise, revealing accomplishments and work habits your team didn’t even know they had.
PropsToYou offers several advantages over conventional “reward for action” gamified systems.
- Automated Employee Recognition Program. It’s next to impossible to discover and recognize all the little victories on your team. Yet workplace surveys have shown that next to monetary compensation, the most important factors contributing to job satisfaction are meaningful achievements and being recognized for them. PropsToYou is able to discover and reward real achievements that would certainly go unnoticed. Would you know if a team member earned a personal best in exercising an important skill last week? Would you know if their help contributed to another team member’s success? PropsToYou does.
- Upgraded Performance Reviews. The biggest challenge to monitoring progress on professional development goals is visibility. PropsToYou allows detailed day-to-day monitoring of on-the-job skill acquisition. Is your staff learning and exercising the skills they need to succeed? Does your organization have the right skill portfolio to compete? PropsToYou extracts the skills used on each task and gives you a real-time organization-wide view of the skills your staff has demonstrated.
- Project Management Best Practices. The PropsToYou badges are carefully designed to incentivize acknowledged best practices on project teams. The more of them held by your team, the closer the team is operating at peak efficiency. We provide awards for individuals with team player habits as well as awards for whole teams. For example, we award teams that are getting more efficient over time, are composed of personnel with the optimum skills or finish on time. PropsToYou provides a detailed feedback and monitoring system to allow you to constantly improve your procedures.
- Based in Behavioral Science. Behavioral studies have revealed that “reward for desired behavior” systems have short-term benefits and often unintended consequences. Intra-team competition (leaderboards) motivates few and demoralizes many, leading to decreasing team efficiency over time. Up-front goals to work toward encourage the team to game the system instead of focus on the actual work. The PropsToYou awards are designed to avoid the pitfalls of simpler rewards systems, making them much harder to game and team-safe. Winning one is a win for the whole team.
The aim of ProsToYou is to keep you in the zone. Every team has these moments. Miraculously, inexplicably, for a time you are greater than the sum of your parts and amazing stuff happens. Great ideas and great products come from teams like this.
PropsToYou gamifies your workplace culture. We start with a vision of the best team we can imagine: supportive, creative, hard working, risk-taking and fearless. We imagine the best management you’ve ever had: watchful, efficient, your coach and advocate. Then we ask ourselves what qualities or behaviors encourage and support that kind of team? How can we design a reward system that incentivizes staff to bring about that kind of environment? If we can create a workplace you love, you’ll look forward to Mondays. Our goal is no less.
Only open to the public a few months, we’ve already seen how PropsToYou can transform teams. To date, every team that has completed a real project in PropsToYou has stuck with it for more. The more PropsToYou learns about your team, the more reliably it guides you. If you want to get your team into the zone and keep it there, give us a try.