The way people run and manage their businesses has changed fundamentally over the past decade with the introduction of new technology. First-run CRM solutions looked little more than digital forms of the existing paper inefficiencies with Microsoft even adding a product to it’s Office flagship to do nothing but generate digital forms. Yes, it sold a lot of software but never really had much impact in the way business is being done because nothing was connected in a way that involved senior management and transparency through the layers of employees or communicated any level of standards for how business was to be done.
Everyone made their own thing up until they hit the limitations and then they went elsewhere – without senior management oversight – the whole thing was just allowed to flop.
There you have it.. The brief history of SMB business management solutions, according to Vlad
Shockey Monkey is perhaps the one area of my business where I’m not looking at the past or what has been built in the management space for inspiration where people are forced to use the software they don’t like… but at the solutions that people love that have an element of motivation.
As a business owner/manager, critical part of the job is to motivate your employees to do better than their best so that you don’t have to do their jobs for them.
With that, I’m extending the first of many Shockey Monkey 3 invitations to you:
Thursday, Noon EST
For example, consider the following:
This is my Fitbit report which basically monitors my physical activity and tells me when I have days that I haven’t done enough. I could just ignore it, take it off, throw it away.. yet, I need to lose weight so I can post better times on the bike so I can do the full Ironman. It lets me set simple reports and metrics that allow me to go from fatass CEO to an Ironman finisher.
Work, or really any level of effort, is incentivized in much the same way. The smaller the small business, the less knowledge it has of the millions of hours that have been spent studying management, motivation, incentives. Most small business owners don’t happen to be business college graduates or MBA holders – and even those of us with those credentials make more mistakes than we’re willing to admit.
But I think we can all agree that there needs to be a level of accountability across the organization.
We can also agree that there are significant benefits to business transparency.
After all, if the employee isn’t performing is it their fault or the fault of the management that has not incentivized them properly? Does the employee simply not care about doing a good job or do they not understand that doing a good job leads to rewards?
You could get really cynical…
And say that the awards and the screenshot above are fantastic for 5 year olds trying to collect badges for their Xbox avatar.. or to unlock a hidden feature in Angry Birds.
Yet if you can agree that you benefit from transparency and your staff buying into the platform and using a combined common set of metrics.. then a visual indicator of progress is important. Rewarding a user for using more than one module (Support and CRM) or creating X number of leads or Y number of opportunities or creating a report.. gives them visual indication of the progress that you want them making with your tool. If there is a bonus at the end of the rainbow, more people would buy into the process more and standardize on the way business communication gets done.
I can teach you what I want you to do and I can force you to use a platform.. but if I want you to embrace it more than I’m forcing you to.. then all I need to do is slap an incentive on the end of the trail of awards and let you motivate yourself.
Little candy along the way can’t hurt.