Bramble Logo Blog
Published on

Picking the right productivity platform


In the age of the remote worker, it is vital to select the right performance solution.

The emergence of the Coronavirus in 2020 has expedited the longer-term trend of organizations moving to a remote operational model. The mad-dash to facilitate remote-working as an interim solution has evolved into a ‘new normal’ — employees and organizations have responded warmly to remote working, in fact; according to McKinsey research, 80% of people enjoy working from home while 41% stated they are more productive than before.’ Bottom-line, if your organization is not looking for ways to incorporate elements of remote-working into your ongoing operations, we’d be surprised.

Obviously, this ‘new normal’ has many benefits for both employers and employees alike. It is leading to a more flexible work environment, staff feel more productive and engaged, expanded talent pool as organizations are no longer restricted by geography and finally, it offers an opportunity to reduce overhead. However, it also provides challenges:

  • Leaders can no longer rely on observation to ensure employees are doing what they should be — more than ever there is a need for greater visibility into individual effort and outcomes
  • The key to building engagement is delivering experiences that matter most to employees’ — These experiences include listening to employees, coaching, clear communications and encouraging/developing autonomy with employees. Greater care must be taken to ensure leaders are hitting on these points with their remote employees

A balance must be found between tracking individual performance and staff engagement. If you are looking to enhance your performance reporting, care should be taking when selecting the appropriate methodology.

Today’s pressing need may well be enhanced individual performance reporting, if handled poorly it will create tomorrow’s headache of a disengaged workforce.

To summarize, when reviewing a solution/approach keep the following question in mind: ‘Will Platform X provide me with better individual performance metrics while maintaining or improving staff engagement?’

If the answer is no, you may want to keep looking.

When looking to improve performance reporting it can be tempting to look to a solution built on keystroke counting or screen-scraping. While business is booming for these companies…it is also booming for anti-surveillance software designed to trick these systems.

Screen-scraping may not give you the answers you’re after!

Besides the fact that these solutions are rendered useless by a high-tech version of Homer Simpsons’ iconic productivity-bird, they clearly fail the most important question. How do you think your staff will respond to this method of performance monitoring? You may succeed in a short-term productivity bump brought on by the Hawthorne effect but longer term, this spyware is extremely damaging to employee trust and engagement and may even lead to reputational damage. Barclay’s bank in the UK found this out the hard way.

On the other hand, if we skew too far away from meaningful performance metrics, we run the risk of cultivating an unproductive environment. In Bramble’s opinion, it is possible to lift productivity while also increasing engagement. They are not mutually exclusive and in fact, the introduction of meaningful and fair performance metrics provides the backbone to a communications cadence that will encourage collaboration and autonomy at the front-line.

Finally, once you have selected the right go-forward platform for your organization, make sure you collaborate with frontline leaders and Individual Contributors through the setup. Ultimately, these two roles are the most impacted by performance reporting — not only is it fairer, but by including these roles in the setup they tacitly become part of the solution — you are building confidence in the yardstick they will be held accountable to. For more information on the Bramble Deployment Schedule please click here.