This is a Guest post by Roni  Floman VP Marketing, GamEffective

2015 was, in many ways, a landmark year for HR technology, employee engagement and workforce optimization It marks a fundamental change as organizations  moved away from subjectively evaluating their employees to looking at objective, data-driven employee performance management. This came with changes in goal setting and management and impacted corporate culture.

Here are the five main elements that are driving this change in 2015 and 2016:

Performance reviews are a thing of the past

2015 was the year when both Deloitte and Accenture announced they will be doing away with the performance review, a huge change for HR management. Suddenly rating all employees and placing them on a bell curve (“rank and yank”), no longer seemed like a good idea.

Why? Because many companies came to the conclusion that performance reviews consume too much time and resources while providing little value, in some cases alienating employees.

Another issue with performance reviews  is their year-old goals, that are either stale or outdated. In many cases these performance evaluations are also impacted by  halo effects, rendering them subjective.

2015 was about “in the moment” focused employee engagement practices, replacing  historical reviews. It signaled the entrance of real time tracking and coaching which is focused on shorter term, measureable,  objectives.

2015 was the year of OKR

 Shifting away from annual  performance reviews, organizations evolved to more effective methods of goal setting and goal tracking.. One such method is OKR (Objectives and Key Results), pioneered at Intel and used by Google, Linkedin, Twitter and others.

Moving to OKRs allows  the management team to focus on coaching and employee development instead of complex goal setting.

Goals are aligned with corporate objectives and result in transparency, since OKRs show employees how they and their peers are doing in real time, based on objective and transparent data

The Internet of Things and the Workplace

The Internet of Things isn’t only about machines and sensors predicting when you’re going to run out of milk. It also extends into people’s lives – think of the fitness tracker. Tracking “steps taken” makes you take more steps. Focusing on continuous improvement  makes you improve. So, if there is a fitbit for life, can’t you have a fitbit for work? Tracking performance in real time provides real time feedback to the employee, encouraging motivation and self-reflection.  It also gives management a great opportunity for coaching – emphasizing the elements that can be corrected, in real time..

People analytics

In 2015 Josh Bersin wrote an article titled “the geeks have arrived”, on  people analytics. Its main point is that HR is  is no longer a fuzzy business: it is beginning to use data science =. Yet this isn’t Taylorism – counting steps or actions at work –  since leveraging analytics can help employees chart individualized development maps for employees.


In 2015, Millennials have overtaken as the  the majority in the current workforce. This will force the workforce to accommodate a generation that expects transparency and is more digital than any generation before it.

Millennials are less comfortable with hierarchies, expect information sharing and constant feedback. In other words, Tracking goals, evolving them and focusing on continuous improvement feels natural to them.

Customer engagement optimization and Gamification in 2016?

So what does the above bode for workforce gamification and optimization in 2016?

Gamification begins by setting goals – tracking workforce performance KPIs, such as conversion, customer satisfaction and more.

KPIs can be set to define ranges of “good” performance, while the overall score drives a balanced achievement of KPIs.

Using gamification (with many game mechanics made to drive engagement) drives  continuous improvemen , a clear indication of areas for development and a transparent culture.

It also frees management from being task enforcers or “evaluators” into being coaches, as the real time data from gamification allows them to coach employees based on real time results.

Embedded within customer engagement optimization, gamification allows organizations to not only track performance but to also drive action and in turn improve customer sentiment and loyalty.