What if you ran your small business more like the reality TV hit Survivor?
After attending the E.O./M.I.T. Entrepreneurial Masters Program, Walzer set about creating a new system for motivating and evaluating employees.
She and her staff agreed on seven core values that they should strive for as a team. Then they put up a box in the office so employees could nominate one another for best embodying a certain value.
Each week the votes are collected, and at the end of the quarter the person with the most votes in each category, as well as the most votes overall, gets a bonus.
Employees also rate themselves and each other once each quarter on a scale of 1-10, in terms of each cultural value.
The system was intended to create incentives for employees to work harder and unify the team around certain goals, but Walzer says it’s paid an unexpected dividend: “It made it more obvious who is and who isn’t a good fit for the company.”
By giving her workers the ability to rank one another, Walzer says she discovered which employees were didn’t fit well with her company; it’s a bottom-up approach to determining who’s in sync with the office culture.
Will it work? Walzer will soon find out. In response to the evaluations, she fired two employees, hired a new one and plans to continue these kind of processes on a quarterly basis.
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