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5 min read

Who Are Leaderboards Really Helping?

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‘Take a lesson from those entrepreneurs who know that culture and strategy are inseparable: design them together, and make sure values-based execution enables them both.’

 

Does your company’s culture support strategic operations?

 

The culture in which we work and the strategy that we wish to abide by, must find a common ground. For sales success to prosper, then environment, resources and relationships enforcing a philosophy conducive to sustainable progress, must allow for a combined execution of ‘reinforcing cultural values and strategic ideas.’ In other words, for a product or service to sell, then the strategy in the background and the cultural system at the forefront of operations, should align.

 

Responsibility at the top is never easy, requiring constant navigation to support an everchanging equilibrium of factors. But, whichever the journey that has led you to define strategy and witness your ideas resonate across an organisation, or the values that have shaped your working environment and day-to-day cultural interactions, then a position in leadership brings with it a huge amount of accountability and opportunity.

 

What does L.E.A.D.E.R. stand for?

 

Great fun can be had creating acronyms symbolic of corporate buzzwords, whilst living up to the ideology they carry, can be somewhat harder. For instance, using each letter of ‘leader’ to define desirable characteristics of a person in charge, effectively lists some of our extensive expectations of them.

 

Amongst other things, ideal leaders should:

L-ead, E-ducate, A-nalyse, D-irect, E-valuate, R-espond

 

Desirable personality traits should include:

L-oyality, E-mpathy, A-gility, (ability to) D-elegate, E-nthuse &

R-ecognise

 

Any individual or team responsible for educating and leading others are deemed worthy of such a feat based on a range of characteristics, experience, training and prospects. The ability to be personable and show empathy to employees at each company level, plus possessing the enthusiasm to direct them on their way to collective success, are all positive attributes. Being conscious of recognising mistakes or room for improvement must also be high on the list, along with exercising swift responsiveness and evaluation of activity and progress. Furthermore, a loyal leader with a head for sensible delegation, thorough analysis, and one who shows agility in the face of change, has potentially earned the right to be in charge. (See last week’s blog for more on sales personalities...)

 

Are your leaderboards sending the right message?

 

The leaderboard. A board of leaders. A register of success. A motivational tool?

Or is it?

The aforementioned outline of leadership predominately illustrates individuals at management level, but lest we forget the competitive edge to many professional roles, namely in sales, who are all striving to lead. Each and every employee may be running the race to top a leaderboard, outdo colleagues or simply to enjoy personal gratification - but whether the corporate culture in which they are immersed fosters a healthy balance of ‘values-based execution,’ is another question.

 

The evolution of the leaderboard has come a long way since whiteboards, buzzers and bells (although some companies may still enjoy traditional measures!) In fact, we’re all busy checking status and position on a number of fronts, not just at work. Games, stocks, golf tournaments, league tables, you name it – there’s a leaderboard for that! Nevertheless, pressure to occupy the leading spot at work may seem stronger than the need to see your fantasy football team win the season (depending on your priorities, of course!)

 

Leading in a competitive event is made extremely public using leaderboards –  immensely motivating for some, yet soul-destroying for others. Companies use them for a number of reasons, and we’d like to believe that they do so to motivate and celebrate success, rather than humiliate. Like all target-boosting strategies, leaderboards can serve as an indispensable tool and valuable tracking system.

 

I don’t want a leaderboard decorating the office wall – I want it in the palm of my hand…

 

It’s a digital era and technology is the glue holding everything together. Therefore, leaderboards have also taken on a next-level reputation of automatically tracking progress on the go – literally keeping us on our toes and on the move (hopefully on an uphill climb to the top!)

 

The existence of software providing real-time data is a real game-changer. Speaking of games, the whole concept of championing positive goal setting and attainable targets uses gamification strategy to spice things up in the workplace. (See blog: Could Gamification Bring a Competitive Fun Factor to Your Business?)

 

Highly sophisticated, yet incredibly user-friendly apps allow managers to decide who sees what and when. Either every employee has access to the leaderboard, or perhaps just individual scorecards – what’s important, is that all data is tracked in real-time and is always accessible, even offline. Leaderboards adapted to company needs and criteria, displaying revenue, average values, client visits, product sales or subscriptions, provide a continuous flow of valuable insights. Unlike traditional spreadsheet formats, a unified leaderboard in ‘spreadsheet view’ gives an overview of all KPI’s and staff performance, including analysis and graphical data handling, supported by all smart devices – accessible information in the moment.

 

Summary – Be the Leader of the Pack

 

Whether an entrepreneurial dream and work in progress, or a long-established corporate machine, every organisation wants a shot at number one. Establishing ethical, innovative and efficient strategies mould a company’s make-up, and nurturing a communicative, responsive atmosphere paves the way for a wholesome company culture. Furthermore, keeping up to speed with real-time data and staying ahead of competition are savvy business manoeuvres.

 

Visualising data and using leaderboards to track and celebrate achievements makes sales performance forever more engaging for all. Whatever the purpose of making leaderboards and scorecards visual and to which audience is every company’s prerogative – but always bear in mind the ‘value-based’ approach and consider who will benefit from public (employee) or private (management) data tracking, giving everyone the chance to lead the pack.

 

Join us next time for more information on sales performance management tools…