Your employer is watching

And listening, and applying predictive analytics at the same time.

Excellent shout-out in Marginal Revolution (a blog by a couple of award-winning economists, not rebel types) on an FT piece (gated for most of us, unfortunately) on how some employers are improving productivity by measuring employee interactions with each other (interestingly not with clients) and noting employee tone of voice in the process.

It seems talking things through with your peers really does make things better. It also turns out that a sustained spike in dulcet tones while mixing it up on break is in fact highly correlated with productivity improvement.

Employers take note: this kind of experiment is the tip of the iceberg and only goes to prove the old saw, “What get measured gets improved.”

Read it here.

Customer service doesn’t scale?

In Your Call Is Not Important To Us Farhad Manjoo of Slate bemoans the lack of anything approaching even tolerably good customer service from Gmail.

He’s moaning about the free-to-users, advertiser supported Gmail service, not the paid services businesses and government agencies sign up for.

It got me thinking. Sometimes free means a bargain. Sometimes not. I would argue that the affordances of Gmail so far outweigh the possibility of poor customer service that even with no customer service at all, it’s still a good thing.

However, my expectations are fairly low when I sign up for free services. And the old saw holds — You get what you pay for . . .

 

 

 

A “Top 100” list that talks back

A tag cloud example of the power of visual representation (see below — click the image once or twice to make it full-size).

Or you can explore the original posting here.

Admittedly, even a list of lists is still subject to curation bias. However, the authors make a point of providing method and target disclosure. This is a great example of what can be done (efficiently) to give people serious, actionable information.

What could you do with this idea at your company? Think a Top 20 list for customer service strategies or a Top 10 list for sales with click-throughs going to explanations and war stories.

There is a brilliant instructional design lesson here.

 

Cross-over potential?

There is a lovely post at TNW (The Next Web) on how open resource initiatives are putting first-rate academic teaching online for free.

You can find it here.

It got me thinking — it would be easy to incorporate some of this free material in corporate courseware and offer it via LMS catalogues. We have a publishing technology we call The Courseware Manager in our LMS which allows users to easily mix and match content inside a SCORM wrapper. It would be child’s play to bundle some of the open academic resources with company specific content and testing.

It’s an interesting idea. I wonder how many companies are doing things like this.