Weighing in on the role of Dashboards in Corporate Culture
Every January, some of our most intrepid and motivated employees compete to see who can lose the most weight between January 1 and March 31. In 2017, eleven of our most ambitious dashboarders lost a total of 212.9 pounds (despite the efforts of a certain contestant, who insisted on bringing doughnuts to the office on the regular.)
But the weight loss challenge is more than a clever way to keep our New Year’s resolutions on track; it is an opportunity for us to see data visualization and dashboards at play in company culture. Here are a few things we discovered…
Employee engagement matters. Period.
According to Inc.com, focus on employee engagement is more prevalent – and important – than ever. In fact, organizations with highly engaged employees demonstrated a 70% improved process turnaround time than organizations without an engaged team. Additionally, engagement can lead to a lower turnover rate in your company, fewer quality control issues, more innovation, decreased safety incidents, and greater profitability.
Healthy employees make happy employees
In addition to making your office a pleasant place to be, happy employees are also more productive. When it comes to fostering a great work environment – the kind of work environment that encourages productivity – engagement is crucial. According to Engage for Success, employee engagement stems from an atmosphere that encourages all employees to invest in the organization’s overall goals. In short, employees are engaged when their goals align with those of the organization. By incorporating fun and healthy competition into your organization, your team isn’t just taking an extra step on the treadmill; they’re actively moving toward engagement.
When asked about his final takeaway from the challenge, Account Manager Nate said, “As a team, we lost over 200 pounds! That is pretty cool.” We couldn’t agree more. By incorporating a goal that directly contributed to the wellbeing of each employee and his or her individual lifestyle goals, the challenge moved our overall culture in the right direction.
Keeping everyone in the loop = Motivation
As you walk into the lobby at iDashboards HQ, you’ll immediately see an LCD affixed to one of the walls, displaying a series of rotating dashboards. It’s one of many wall displays we have around the office, but our lobby dashboard is our favorite way to keep everyone up to date with events, introduce our new hires, and share general news about the company. For the weight loss challenge, it allowed each participant to not only share their results with their competitors, but with all the folks who weren’t participating in the challenge. With this kind of social data sharing, the goal is to keep everyone informed and engaged.
The same thing goes for any goal in your company: If you want to reach a goal, share it. Make sure everyone, especially stakeholders, understand what’s happening and why. For some, the challenge was the perfect opportunity to meet goals they’d had for a long time. “I should have done this a long time ago,” said Pre-Sales Engineer Jim. For others, it was all about the friendly competition. Sr. Technical Account Manager Sean insisted that he and Tech Support Manager Aaron were rivals, though Aaron said he “didn’t really care” (year right, Aaron). Our receptionist Katie kept it personal, citing “anyone who beat me the week before” as her motivation to improve.
Read next: Motivate Employees with Data Sharing
Wall Displays take the cake
From a technical standpoint, sharing information doesn’t have to be difficult. Take the wall displays in iDashboards HQ. Each department has its own wall display displaying relevant KPIs; sales tracks their closed/won rates, marketing tracks lead generation, support tracks tickets, and so on. The lobby dashboard hosts most of our general corporate which updated our Weight Loss Challenge dashboard every Monday by automatically pulling information from an Excel spreadsheet tracking our progress.
Wall displays are more than convenient, though. They’re an excellent way to inject important bytes of information into your employees’ workdays. In fact, wall displays can reach users in ways typical dashboards can’t. Why? Because wall displays allow passive information absorption, whereas a dashboard is a tool users continually access throughout their working days because they need it.
This makes wall displays particularly effective for specific types of information:
- Company-wide goals. It doesn’t always make sense to display your biggest goals on a dashboard, especially if this information doesn’t help users get their jobs done throughout the day. If everyone in your organization is working toward a specific goal this quarter, a wall display might be the best place to keep them in-the-know without impeding on the data sets and dashboards they need daily.
- Corporate events and company-wide meetings. Corporate events are, in many ways, the “face” of your organization – including to those within the organization. If you have an event coming up, a wall display might be the best way to keep everyone in the loop, even if you’ve sent an email reminder or announced it in meetings.
- Upcoming events, tradeshows, etc. Events are an important part of any organization’s culture. Whether your company is helping a local non-profit or hosting a booth an upcoming tradeshow, it’ a good idea to make sure everyone knows what’s happening and when.
- Team activities, such as a weight loss challenge! Generally speaking, team activities aren’t crucial to your employee’s professional activities, but they are important to your company culture. Thus, keeping them in the loop via a wall display conveys the right information without interrupting their workflow.
Data (and work-outs) are better when shared
Okay, so we might have already known data is fascinating, but seeing it influence the lives of our employees and teammates was a good reminder. For some organizations, the idea of a data-driven company culture conjures up images of complex spreadsheets and baffling statistics. In reality, data is more: It’s a springboard to insight, motivation, and smart decision-making.
We wanted to provide some extra motivation for our employees to keep up on their weight-loss goals, so we partnered with a local gym! iDashboards already provides gym and fitness membership fee reimbursement, but with our partnership with Lifetime Fitness, it’s practically free for our employees. Even when we’re not having weight-loss challenges, unofficial groups of early-bird exercisers and lunch-time gym rats have formed, solidifying our relationships and employee engagement authentically.
This is especially true when you can display your data in unique, easy-to-digest ways. By using a dashboard wall display with real-time data, for example, participants in the weight loss challenge knew exactly what their goals were and how they contributed to the larger, overall goal of the challenge. By employing this same principle to your organization’s overall challenges and goals, you can use make sure every member of your team is on the same page, heading for success.
Is employee engagement important to your company culture? Why or why not? We’d love to hear from you! Comment below, or join the conversation on social media @iDashboards!
Get the Guide Fundamental Design Principles for Dashboards
Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.