Scorekeeping and Leaderboards to Drive Performance

Developing and testing new business simulations at CMOE is always a lot of fun.  It’s a time when the CMOE staff gets free lunches, prizes, and the opportunity to meet countless new people we ask to join us.  So in addition to creating or reworking our products, we create a culture of fun.

This past week I was assigned to pick up the food for a volunteer test group.  I went to get Pizza and as I was standing at the payment counter, I noticed a computer screen on this wall.  In big, black, block print, it read “LEADERBOARD.”  I was immediately excited to see this.  As I was waiting for my order to be finished, I was trying to identify what was being tracked by the “leaderboard” and how it worked.  It was obvious that the leaderboard was networked with other stores and I quickly noticed that the store I was purchasing from was second from the bottom.  This piqued my interest further.   I decided to speak with the manager to understand how it worked.

Scoreboard_000007362767LargeMe:  I noticed your leaderboard on the wall; it looks interesting.  It appears to be tracking certain success factors and percentages.  Do you get rewarded when you hit certain levels of performance?  The reason I ask is I work for an organization where we use effective management, measurements, and scorecards to drive bottom line profitability.

Manager:  Yeah, it tracks just about everything in the store from the time a phone call was placed to the time the order leaves the store for delivery.  Corporate can pull up data on just about anything in the store.

Me:  It doesn’t sound like you believe it’s a good thing by the way you are speaking.  Do you get recognized or rewarded for hitting certain levels of performance?

Manager:  No, it basically indicates what you have to do as a minimum to keep from getting fired.

The manager continued to explain that this tracking system was to help employees have higher levels of customer service, reduced mistakes, and shorten production times, among many other things.  While those are great focus areas, I was emotionally deflated by the way he explained it.  This employee was telling me that the “Leaderboard,” this scorekeeping system, was the worst thing about his job.

If organizations are to succeed against strong competition and have higher levels of profitability, measurement cannot build fear and negativity into employees.  Driving bottom line performance with the right measurement will engage people and get people excited and committed to push performance levels.  By using our piles of data, managers can help employees sort out measurements that drive individual results.

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About the Author

Chris Stowell

Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.