Massachusetts-based software company Objective Logistics has developed and released a platform called MUSE, a way to "gamify the workplace" for servers by placing them on a leaderboard with their co-workers. Servers earn points and move ahead places on the leaderboard based on their sales. The software also allows servers to access their schedules online and request shifts off. Sounds fine and fair enough. Servers are already working extremely hard for their tips, upselling helps to increase the dollar amount of those tips, and a little healthy competition never hurt anyone, right? But here's where it gets a little more 1984 (from Objective Logistics website):
|Software may "gamifiy" the workplace, but does that make it fun?|
Everyone should know how they're doing at work. It allows an employee and their mentor to assess strengths and weaknesses and improve in areas where they may need a little help. This is nothing new--but what is new is there is now the ability to objectively assess performance without the slightest hint of favoritism or bias, and to take a snapshot of how an employee is affecting the company's business at any given moment.
|Big Brother is watching your...sales figures?|
Of course managers and owners want to make their business profitable, but there is an inherent danger on making sales the sole focus for your front-of-house staff. What happens to the quality of service? What if your most regular customers are an older couple who come in every Friday night and run up the same $30 tab, but they have been loyal to your business for 30 years? Should they not be given the same priority as the table who spends $150? It's clear what kind of environment MUSE aims to foster.
MUSE will diagnose and rank; then MUSE will recognize areas where the team member can improve and automatically suggest articles and materials created by the industry's leading minds. Not enough wine sales on weekdays? MUSE will send your manager and team member a piece on wine sales tactics.
So the bad employees get reading assignments, but how does MUSE propose managers reward the employees at the top of the leaderboard? By assessing the data and accepting or rejecting shift requests based on the sales figures of the top and bottom performers.
Objective Logistics claims "your staff, it turns out, are MUSE's biggest fans," but it's hard to imagine servers thinking of the platform as a game-changer, no matter how much it "gamifies" their day-to-day work.