Introducing… High Fives at Someone.io!

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Here at Someone.io we want to not only improve your team’s productivity, but also to impact how team members communicate with each other and how they feel about the progress they make. Everyone wants to be acknowledged for the work that they do and research shows that something that on the surface seems simple can have an enormous impact on team productivity.

That’s why we’re happy to introduce you to High Fives – a way for teammates to acknowledge and reward each other with just one click. This is the first in a series of new features in Someone.io that together will help make your team feel more interconnected, an approach that we are calling “Social Task Management”, which will be a big part of how Someone.io looks and feel going forward. Below, we go a little deeper into the science of how this can impact your team, but first…

Here’s how it works:

When a task is marked as completed, a High Five button will appear and be visible to everyone who is involved in that project:

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Simply click the High Five button to send a one click acknowledgement for a job well done to any team members who were assigned this task and they’ll receive a message…

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It’s a simple as that. Go team!

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So, how can something this simple make a difference to your team? 

The science and understanding of what makes a team more productive has changed quite a bit in the last few years. We’ve pulled some data from an extremely detailed MIT study made in 2012 that proves teams that communicate with energy and engagement are much more likely to be productive. Our High Fives are a first step for Someone.io in a direction that empowers your team to increase the energy and engagement of their communication.

Why are these patterns of communication so important for teams?

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In 2012, MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory did a fascinating series of experiments with business teams, equipping all members with an electronic badge that recorded all sorts of information on how individuals communicated, from body language to tone of voice, which team members they talked to, for how long and much more.

Predicting Team Success

The results were unequivocal. Not only was communication shown to play a critical role in making teams successful but, remarkably, patterns of communication were proven to be the most important predictor in the success of a team. In fact, the researchers discovered that those communication patterns are as significant as all the other factors (individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions) put together.

Predicting Team Productivity

The data gathered by the MIT team showed that the best predictors of productivity were a team’s energy and engagement outside of formal meetings. Together those two factors explained one-third of the variations in dollar productivity among groups.

As a consequence of seeing this in the data, the researchers advised the manager of a major bank’s call centre to revise the employee’s coffee break schedule so that all team members would take their break together. That would allow people more time to socialize with their teammates, away from their workstations. Although this suggestion seemed counter productive in terms of efficiency, the manager gave it a try. And it produced spectacular results: Average Handle Time fell by more than 20% among lower-performing teams and decreased by 8% overall at the call center. Employee satisfaction was also seen to rise amongst these teams, sometimes by over 10%.

(You can read more about these tests in this Harvard Business Review article, written by the lead researcher on the project, Professor Alex Pentland https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-new-science-of-building-great-teams )

We are hoping that the High Fives can bring about a similar kind of positive change in team productivity – don’t underestimate the influence of small changes to communication patterns on team productivity – you may be surprised!

So, we’re really excited to release High Five, our first Social Task Management feature and we see it as the start of a new and exciting chapter for Someone.io. We are looking forward to making Someone an even more engaging and positive experience for our users. Please let us know if you have any comments and, until next time, keep on High Fiving!

Have a great day! :)

Dan and the team @ Someone.io

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