News and advice on management and the business environment — September 2017

From point scoring to rules of play, the hallmarks of game playing are making their way into the workplace. Plus, 70% of managers use social media to screen job candidates.

It was just a matter of time before the generation raised on video games brought its own ethos to the office. That’s exactly the reason why you’re going to be reading more and more about workplace gamification — the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition, rules of play) to other areas of activity. Here’s what happened when the Charlotte, NC-based accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman employed gamification to make service delivery more efficient. “Auditors were encouraged to submit online forms describing the actions they took,” says consultant Jerry Gschwind in a recent Learning Solutions article. “Managers reviewed the forms, approving demonstrated best practices. Each best practice was worth a different number of points, depending on the difficulty.” The points were then exchanged for prizes. Game on!


The upside? You can spend even more time online

Of course you post on Facebook, but only happy stuff, right? Cat pictures and empowering little sayings that make your FB friends feel better; nothing that could ever come back to bite you, correct? Nope. Fact is, even just being on Facebook “a lot” could cost you a job. A survey conducted by CareerBuilderreleased in June found that of more than 2,300 managers, 70% use social media to screen job candidates and a quarter say they’ve actually turned down candidates after checking them out online. One of the most biting infractions: posting too frequently. Here are five of the most lethal things you can do on social media, according to the study:

• post accounts of inappropriate behaviour, photographs, videos or discrimination;

• use an unprofessional screen name;

• post something that suggests you might breach confidentiality;

• badmouth a former company or fellow employee; and

• indicate that you lied or exaggerated your qualifications.


Recipe for measured management

There’s probably at least one person at the office for whom you should make this book required reading. (Maybe it’s you?) American author, entrepreneur and motivational presenter Kim Scott released a book in the spring called Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity. It’s basically a guidebook that provides tools to monitor and measure your reactions to workplace situations so you get the best out of people without acting like either a tyrant or a sycophant. Pick up a copy for that manager (you know who we’re talking about).