Summary:

When it comes to productivity, you can deploy all the software in the world you want, but it’s people, not tools, that foster productivity, says Daniel Debow, co-CEO of Rypple, a social software application that sets out to help teams work better.

badges-rypple

When it comes to productivity, you can deploy all the software in the world you want, but it’s people, not tools, that foster productivity, says Daniel Debow, co-CEO of Rypple, a social software application that sets out to help teams work better.

Rypple is focused on four main areas:

  1. Recognition
  2. Feedback
  3. Coaching
  4. Setting goals.

According to Debow, these activities help workers to stay motivated, focused and on track. When you first log into Rypple, you immediately see a familiar feed of activity from your team to get a quick overview of who is doing what and how they’re doing within your team. The power of Rypple, however, is what is happening deeper than the feed itself.

Let’s break Rypple down into its four parts:

Recognition

Rypple sets out to make feedback both more real-time and more fun. Yes, fun. Through Rypple, team members and managers alike are encouraged to give people recognition and thanks in a “bottom up” approach. Receiving this thanks can enhance a worker’s reputation, and — in a similar fashion to online games — team members can receive badges for things they’ve done well; those badges then show up on their profile.

Teams using Rypple can make their own badges, either from pre-loaded images or any other images they want to use. The customization of the badges gives them more shared meaning; badges can also be limited in availability to create scarcity.” You can even give badges to people outside your company or team. I’ll explore this “gamification of work” idea more in an upcoming post.


Feedback

Why wait six months to a year to find out how you’re doing? Rypple lets workers and managers ask for private, anonymous feedback on their work, on themselves, on processes or on the team. Questions can include a rating system as well.

Coaching

Great managers provide actionable feedback as well as  coaching, and Rypple gives people the tools to do both, helping them create relationships with workers — even remote workers — for regular mentoring interactions. In Rypple, people can create a private shared space with the person they’d like to connect with, in which they can interact one-on-one. They can set goals, attach actions to goals and share notes.

Setting Goals

In a team, goals should be set together, and using Rypple, you can set up social goals, including metrics so that they are clearly measurable. There is also a “Goal Explorer” feature available to premium Rypple subscribers, which lets a manager peruse goals, see who is working on what, when things are due, and access further details about each goal. By reviewing the Goal Explorer, a manager can get insights as to what the team thinks is important. Goals show up in a worker’s profile once they are completed: yet another reputation enhancer.

Starting a Rypple

Rypple isn’t meant to replace the software teams are already using, such as Basecamp, Salesforce or Yammer, but instead, is meant to provide an additional layer to better understand the people working with those products. If a company wishes to continue with traditional annual performance reviews, the entire record of a person’s participation and accomplishments with a company are archived in their profile, making for a more accurate and less painful process. The strength of Rypple, however, is through helping people improve their performance with the “micro-feedback” they receive on an ongoing basis.

The free version of Rypple comes with the badge tool, unlimited coaching and connections, unlimited questions for feedback, and goals. Premium members get the Goal Explorer, additional setup and integration support, and live phone support.

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