Keep Your Team on Track!

Checking on your team’s daily mood is important to look out for early warning signs when things are “going south”. Cabaana has a simple but an effective survey feature that allows you to collect feedback from the participants and the survey can even be customized.

By Victor Ruiz

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog – Mark Twain, American writer
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog – Mark Twain, American writer

It’s curious and sometimes sadistic, how minor and apparently insignificant things can affect our mood dramatically for the rest of the day.

It was as recent as last week. I woke up in good spirits as usual. The sun was shining, the weather was sweet, made me want to move my dancing feet (1), I was taking a shower… but the water wasn’t sweet at all. In fact, it was freezing cold.

First blow.

But I’m not so easy to bring down. After the shower, I recovered my previous good vibrations and got ready to have breakfast. I was about to drink my first sip of coffee with a smile on my face, but what I didn’t know was that the cup contained lava just bubbled from a volcano that burned my mouth and spilled on my shirt. Oh, come on, life cannot be so unfair.

Second, but DOUBLE blow.

I must recognize that I hardly smiled after the coffee incident. However, that morning still had something nice for me. I missed my bus. That was the third and final blow. R.I.P. to my mood for the rest of the day.

Well, this was just an example of a disastrous morning (that I hope it doesn’t happen again!), but sometimes you don’t need nothing special to happen to just feel sad or without the right energy to start your day and go to work. For example, Monday mornings. I guess we all agree on this infernal period of the week…

Effects on productivity

Apart from Monday mornings and the comeback after holidays/vacations (who doesn’t feel depressed?), since a team is composed of individuals, it is difficult to know about their individual mental or emotional states, or their mood flow through the week, like something cyclical. It depends on many things and most of them are personal.

According to Sophie von Stumm, senior lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, “from a biological perspective, we know the brain structures and neurotransmitters that are involved in mood, but very little is known about the genetic origin of fluctuations in mood.”(2)

However, something we have no doubt about is that the mood of employees has a crucial effect on the working environment and consequently on the performance of the company. A positive mood is related to happiness and qualities like proactivity, creativity, resilience, productivity or energy. On the other side, a negative mental state drives to sadness, apathy, lack of willpower, low energy, indolence and laziness.

Both moods can cause a chain reaction in the workplace. In the first case, it means paradise. But if the negative case happens to spread, then companies may be in big trouble.

Mood surveys

To help you keep a check on your team’s daily mood and, thus, catch the early warning signs on when things are “going south”, Cabaana has a simple but an effective survey feature that allows you to collect feedback from the participants and the survey can even be customized.

Mood surveys are a daily/periodic check to know about the employee’s mood. Surveys provide three moods: ‘Sad’, ‘Meh’ and ‘Happy’ (see screenshot below), but they can be customized in such a way that the admin can establish the specific time in which the survey will be sent, or set up the different options (for example, instead of ‘Sad’, ‘Meh’ and ‘Happy’, he can create other ones that he considers to be more appropriate).

In the front end, you will find the survey as follows:

Screenshot 1: Don’t you think our mascot ‘Caba’ is adorable?
Screenshot 1: Don’t you think our mascot ‘Caba’ is adorable?

All the answers from employees are stored in what we call the ‘engagement engine’, where we also use certain engineering and artificial intelligence to offer information extrapolated from all this data.

In this first version of Cabaana, what we offer are the results through what we call a ‘Mood Board’. It is a dashboard with a series of graphs/charts. You can access the ‘Mood Board’ by clicking on the smiley button on the upper part of the page, next to the ‘Kudos Leaderboard’ button.

Screenshot 2
Screenshot 2

Inside the ‘Mood Board’, you will find the ‘Average Company Mood’, and then the ‘Daily Mood Levels’. These two graphs obtain their data directly from the mood survey, but each one of them shows different statistics.

The first one (‘Average Company Mood’) shows the daily evolution of the mood of employees in the last 30 days, that is, one month. In the near future, we will be able to show any period that the user demands. What is more, users will be able to download the data and use it as they want.

The arrow inside the box indicates the difference from the day before. In case of the image, it means that the mood has increased 0.25 points compared to yesterday. However, the average mood is within the parameters of ‘Meh’ (yellow color and face of indifference).

Screenshot 3
Screenshot 3

The ‘Daily Mood Levels’ are shown in the image below, where the empirical results of each day are expressed as percentages, that is, the percentage of users that each option has. Like the ‘Average Company Mood’ statistic, for the time being, these results only reflect the mood results from the last 30 days.

Screenshot 4
Screenshot 4

You already know that employees are the foundation of any company. Now you have a tool that helps you to know when things are going in the right direction or when some things need to be improved.

But this tool is just part of a series.
Cabaana has much more to offer… So do stay on track with us and we will keep you updated!

1) Adapted from ‘Sun is Shining’, a song by Bob Marley & The Wailers
2) ‘Unraveling The Surprising Relationship Between Mood And Productivity’

The Importance of Being Recognized

Ever felt the effect of a simple “Thank you” on your mood or the effect of a well meant suggestion?
Cabaana makes it easier to appreciate one another in a fun and an engaging way.

By Victor Ruiz

Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated - Robert McNamara, former President of Ford Motor Company
Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated – Robert McNamara, former President of Ford Motor Company

Some years ago, a friend of mine was working at the Publishing Department of his university. His work consisted of filling in different kind of forms regarding the check-in and check-out of academic books and proofreading of texts. He used to describe his job as “very boring, lonely, mechanical and thankless.” One could tell he wasn’t excited at all.

It must be very sad to tell somebody that your work is thankless. Leaving aside factors such as low salaries and excessive working hours, right now I cannot think of anything sadder than that. And the saddest aspect of all this is the reason why he felt that way.

Sometimes, a job can be thankless because the general public or your consumer may ignore it, as they don’t understand what it takes to get that job done. But at least those who know (coworkers and managers for example) about what it takes will understand how hard it is make the employee enjoy the respect of his profession.

Carrying the burden of a thankless job

The case of my friend was different. The main reason for him to suffer a thankless job was – yes, you guessed right– his boss.

My friend’s boss was neither a grumpy nor a bad person. In fact, he was proud of his employees. Outside the workplace, he used to tell his friends and other managers about the great work that his employees were doing.

The thing is that he just happened to never tell his employees about it. Inside his mind, may be he perceived that to openly tell an employee that he/she was doing well was a sign of weakness and hence he surely would begin to lose their respect.

Instead, he would walk by the office looking at his employees with disdain: not because he despised them, but because he thought that by showing this attitude, his workers would feel that they should work harder to please him. He confused appreciation with complacency.

Can a manager be more wrong?

In the beginning, my friend, as well as his peers, used to work hard for the Services. They thought that they had a demanding boss, but believed that it was good to prove that they could put a lot of effort and eventually be recognized for their work.

However, as months passed by and as nothing changed in the attitude of their boss, they began to lose their faith in what they were doing. One day, as usual, my friend was focused on his work and the boss was having one of those walks. He stopped by his desk and put his hand over his shoulder.
My friend thought this perhaps was the moment. Finally, it had come.

The manager bowed down and whispered in his ear: “Come on, you need to move on!!”

That was all he got from his boss after many months of committed work. For him, this was the final blow to his confidence.

A question Ff empathy

This boss was a clear example of how not to treat your employees. Though his intentions weren’t bad, his ineptitude gradually broke the moral of his employees and dispelled them from the aims and the spirit of the company. He had full responsibility for the disengagement of his workers.

In the end, employee recognition is a question of pure empathy. Besides, taking into account that your employees are the ones in charge of the success of your business, it is a matter of how important it is in your scale of values. The more you care about your employees, the more you care about your success.

Managers must raise awareness of the importance of recognizing the work of their employees. With little effort and no cost, they can achieve big wins if they keep workers motivated and engaged with just a few sincere words of encouragement.

After all, maybe the only thing that we seek is to be recognized for what we do. As simple as that.

This was just my friend’s case, but the lack of recognition is a complex issue that can affect all kinds of teams and team members, including managers themselves.

Kudos!

In order to help anyone in the team recognize and appreciate the work of their colleagues, Cabaana provides its own employee recognition system – Kudos.
Within Cabaana, recognition works in all directions:
– From managers to employees
– Among employees (peer to peer recognition)
– And even from employees to managers.

Kudos are based on a scoring system, which has been currently categorized as follows:

5 Kudos: Thank You!
10 Kudos: Good Job!
20 Kudos: Impressive!
50 Kudos: Exceptional!

As you can see below in screenshots 1 and 2, all these metrics are managed from the Kudos panel, where you can choose one or more employees to receive Kudos.

Recognition SS2

Recognition SS1

Each month, each user is awarded a finite number of Kudos to spend by the admin through the admin panel. At the end of each month, Kudos be reset to zero. If an employee has any unspent Kudos from the previous month, it won’t count just to avoid idle users to accumulate a large number of Kudos.

Ability profile for each employee

Within Cabaana you don’t simply award someone a certain number of Kudos. Instead, you have the ability to set a context for the Kudos you are awarding. The user gets to pick from eight attributes which are completely customizable by the administrator (both the adjectives and its value) to go with your Kudos. These attributes will define the KQ (Kudos Quotient) of the employee, which you can check on their profiles (see screenshot 3 below).

The employee profile shows the three most appreciated attributes of the employee. Thus, we try to build a more meaningful profile for each team member/employee inside the company to help assess the true potential of that employee through a 360 degree feedback of sorts, for future promotions or inter-department transfers.

Recognition SS3

The sharing of points is carried out following in the following basis:

For example, if an employee receives ‘10 Kudos – Good Job!’ and the attributes chosen are Proactive, Timely, and Helpful, then each of those attributes will get 10 points. These values will not be reset every month.

On the Kudos panel, users can also set up the following (see screenshot below):

Visibility – Decide whether you want your action to be viewed by the rest of the company or just by the employee that will receive it

Message – to explain your team member/manager the reason why you are appreciating his/her work

Image – you can also attach an image to cheer up your peer

Recognition SS4

Each time a user receives Kudos from a colleague, if he decides it to be visible for the rest of users, a post like the following will appear on the general Cabaana Newsfeed.

Recognition SS5

The Kudos system has a second way of indirect employee recognition and it is through an informal ranking among employees. If you click on the trophy icon that appears on the upper section next to the browser bar, you will find the ranking of employees based on the number of Kudos they have and that won’t be reset. This Leaderboard is a fun and a gamified way to promote peer to peer appreciation.

Recognition SS6

Last, but not least, there is another way to obtain Kudos – By simply completing the daily “Challenges”. For each accomplished challenge, the employee obtains ‘5 Kudos – Thank You!’. In the following screenshot, you can see a Newsfeed post informing that ‘Caba’ has awarded the user with 5 points.

Recognition SS7

As you have seen now, Cabaana makes it easy to recognize and appreciate the work of your employees in a fun and an engaging way.

If the well-being of your workers is so important for the success of your business and, I believe, it is, why not invest a bit on addressing it?

But our journey of exploring all the features of Cabaana has not yet ended… So stay tuned for more!