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Creating fun days in the virtual office.

I hear often that the thing people miss most about not being in the office is the camaraderie or banter. Typically this is from the new business teams who say that the ‘fun’ days are missing - the spot prize days, the reward days and the points make prizes days. We all know that some people are really motivated by days like this, with well crafted incentive plans driving discretionary effort. Some managers strongly support this view and miss the fact that that can’t ‘drive daily performance‘ because they are not near their people. This needs some unpacking - the best new business people are smart so they quickly know how to maximise their reward for the least effort. Some well intentioned schemes do not put the customer interest first. And some team members hate such days especially when league tables are published or folks are expected to do silly things (play darts, pin tails on donkeys, etc - yes I have seen everything!)

My advice is to think carefully before believing that incentive driven days drive discretionary performance - do they really? Does the data prove that? Does the whole team really like it?

That said, there are some excellent gamification tools out there that link business outcomes to individual performances with built in reward mechanisms and they are really good. Team members can see how they are doing on an app or their work computer and I have seen them work really well.

Failing that - take everyone to the pub for a drink - remember not to offend those who don’t drink.

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