I read a news story about smartphone apps that aim to track activity and motivate users in a slew of categories. Naturally, I couldn’t help but wonder: “What about creating an app to motivate employees at work?”
Let’s be honest, smartphones (in their own way) have created an alternate universe that leaves many users lost without their phones. Given the extensive abilities they provide, it’s easy to defend our nation’s dire need for them. In fact, I freely admit that walking out the door without my iPhone is non-negotiable. I’d venture to guess that many smartphone carriers feel the same way. Even a simple trip to the grocery store for some milk and eggs is enough of a reason to carry what I consider to be my right hand man. So, dare I say that discovering an app which motivates is, well, motivating?
According to an MSN news story on measuring personal goals, keeping track of specific details and creating motivation within ourselves is just a quick download away:
A growing category of devices and software applications promises to measure the mundane details of our daily lives: calories burned, diaper changes, how much and how well we sleep, caffeine intake, kids’ studying habits, household chores . . .
Currently, many of these apps appear to focus on personal goals outside the office. But, as history has proven before, growing trends can lead to a change in the workplace. Take for instance Facebook and Twitter. At their start, the social media bigwigs were geared toward casual online communication between friends and family. Nowadays, there is no arguing the fact that they are powerful tools in business that create opportunities in essential areas such as market outreach, product growth and corporate networking.
© Flickr user philcampbell
So can a growing trend in apps change the way we motivate ourselves at work? For current users who have provided feedback on the technology, it sure sounds promising. According to the article, these apps provide visuals that help put success and failure into perspective:
These self-tracking consumers don’t necessarily have high-tech backgrounds. But they like pie charts and graphs. They want their achievements highlighted in green, their failures coded red. They also want to compete, against themselves and others, and to create digital scrapbooks that can be referenced years from now.
Truly, it’s not unreasonable to assume that an app which measures specific goals, tracks progress and places a visual of success in the palm of your hand can be beneficial. By viewing personal progress in any given day or week, users can create avenues of opportunity and even gain a stronger sense of drive towards future goals. In the end, something as simple as a personal pat on the back (way to go me!) can push us to want more and strive for improvement.
“If we believe in our capacity to do more and we take ownership over our own systems and patterns, we can get more done.”
– The Methodology Blog