Our decision making and motivation relies upon anticipating and receiving reward.
This is a silent dopamine-driven system that is complimented by a social threats-sensitive neural network and explicit thought process.
As a consequence, managing such a time-sensitive reward can be a very effective method of motivating behaviour.
The recent success of the free to play gaming market is due solely to the implementation of these systems. The gaming industry has learnt that accurate assessment of individual players’ rewards, punishment and sensitivity to emotional content, is essential to business survival.
A similar model is currently being adopted in Silicon Valley enterprises. Games are already in place at Oracle, Cisco and Adobe. Employees are rewarded for community participation, training and sales achievements by receiving frequent virtual badges and socially visible feedback that can be converted into vouchers.
It can be further hypothesised that along with the development of modern distributed data storage and retrieval systems such as Apache Hadoop cluster and Map Reduce Job, and automated self-learning machine methods, it is possible to implement inexpensive systems to take advantage of existing employee-generated data.
Appraisals can benefit from customised motivational tools, through carefully controlled access to data, machine updates in real time frequency of received rewards, as well as positive and negative social feedback.
This approach not only enables quantitative assessment of employee effectiveness but also provides a powerful motivational tool that is likely to increase enterprise productivity.