All the drones, synthetic biologists, and self-driving cars notwithstanding, the story of how companies quantify, analyze, and try to predict your job performance may be the most important story in technology.
That is to say, when we look back in 20 years about what has changed in our lives, we will be able to find this thread of data-driven personnel decision making as the thing that’s changed people’s lives the most.
My colleague Don Peck has an unnerving feature in this month’s magazine on precisely this issue: “They’re Watching You At Work.” I highly encourage you to absorb this tale’s anecdotes and data.
After reading it, your gut may feel optimistic, like his, or queasy, like mine. Because the “Moneyballing” of human resources and corporate management has already begun, and who is going to stop it?
Peck’s reporting turned up some amazing/horrifying details about the current prevalence of data-driven corporate practices. For example, he writes, “The Las Vegas casino Harrah’s tracks the smiles of the card dealers and waitstaff on the floor (its analytics team has quantified the impact of smiling on customer satisfaction).”
Maybe that’s nice from a bottom-line perspective, but imagine working at Harrah’s: "Hey, Alexis, your smile ratio was down today. Keep those lip corners up, buddy!"
Do we want to live in that world?
Read more. [Image: Shutterstock]