Mark Cuban Says Kill The Suit...
Telecommuting - Be More Productive, but forget the promotion

Drop the Cube Walls and Face Everyone Together!!

Here's a link to an Interesting article a few weeks ago from Slate, in which two researchers used sixGo_3 supermarkets in a chain to study the effect of high performers on average/low performers.  A sampling of what they found:

Mas and Moretti rely instead on scarily detailed data: having somehow sweet-talked a supermarket into cooperating, they compiled a data-set that tracks every single "beep," every transaction, for 370 workers in six stores, timed by the second, for two years. They can measure each worker's productivity by the second and note how it changes depending on who else is working at the same time.

It is not obvious what they should find. Since shoppers can and do move to fast-moving lines, a quick worker will tend to lighten the burden on their colleagues. That might encourage them to slack off, or it might encourage them to work harder. The positive effect dominates, according to Mas and Moretti: They find that a shop assistant sitting near someone who is 10 percent quicker than average will raise her own game by 1.7 percent....

Ah, human nature as a mechanism to improving performance.  The researchers also found the following interesting tidbit - the increased performance only occurred if the performer in question was directly facing an individual with less productivity, but no impact occurred if the slower employee was simply facing the back of the star checkout associate...

Obviously, you can't drop cube walls, but it begs the question of how you can incorporate more visibility across associates regarding relative performance without taking the employee relations hit that can follow...  Sales cultures already have this component, why is it so hard to get for other functional areas within a business?

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