Thursday 17 June 2010

Incentivising Community contribution

Hey - look what I won!
Originally uploaded by foxypar4

I blogged recently about the difficult of incentives within Knowledge Management, and how most incentives can be "gamed" by astute people. However, in the context of Communities of Practice, there do seem to be some incetivization methods or principles that are generally robust. These principles are listed below.

Incentivise people on quality, not quantity. Don't give people awards for being the most prolific contributor, but for being the most valuable contributor. Shell publish the criteria for their community awards, including quality, quantity and commitment.

The incentive should not be monetary. Give a certificate, or a quality give-away. Syngenta, for example, give a crystal cube with a tree embedded in it - very nice, very good quality, and prized by the people who receive it.

The award should be given "by the community". When Shell introduced “entry of the month” and “top 3 contributors” awards (non monetary, of course), the candidates for the award were nominated by a retired expert, and the winners were picked by the community facilitators.

Link it to personal assessment. These awards need to be communicated to the relevant line managers, so they can take this into account during annual assessments. It's not a KPI; its something that is taken into account. So community contribution is seen as part of "doing a good job".

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