Motivating Workers By Giving Them a Vote

posted on Sep 3, 01:50 PM in Design, News

The Wall Street Journal has a great article about a company, Schlumberger Ltd., that has created “communities of practice,” or groups of employees with similar professional interests, which cross the traditional corporate hierarchy. Schlumberger, an oil-field-services company with 52,000 employees in 80 countries, has done this to address a company-wide issue of knowledge management.

The creation of internal online communities based upon professional interests and merit clearly indicates that information and its application by skilled professionals is becoming a company’s the most valuable asset. In my research, it has often been the case that information does not flow along corporate hierarchies, but rather follows a more organic path that can be traced by following the professional and social relationships of the employees of a company.

One of the best things about Schlumberger’s online communities is that the company has generated incredible value while spending only $1 million per year running them in an company that generated $11.48 billion in revenue last year.

The company’s CEO, Andrew Gould, also clearly sees the value in such online initiatives: “Technical professionals often are motivated by peer review and peer esteem.”