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Yes, We Are 100% Against Company Leaderboards. Here’s Why You Should Be Too.

From hearing your compliments to opening the floor to feedback and improvements, we love having our customers be part of the PraisePal journey. If there’s one thing we are always hearing from our users, it’s why we don’t have a company leaderboards feature.

What are company leaderboards?

Yes, we’re talking about those ranking systems that show employees where they stand compared to their colleagues in terms of workplace performance. This provides companies with a visual representation of each employees’ personal progress and the top performers within the organisation.

It’s said that this concept encourages healthy competition among teams and potentially boosts productivity when implemented correctly.

But here’s a little news flash: you’ll never see leaderboards on our platform. And here’s why.

Why We Are Against Company Leaderboards & Why You Should Be Too

Leaderboards Comparison Table
Comparison table explaining What You Think Leaderboards Do VS. What They Actually Do. Source: PraisePal
  1. It only benefits those at the top
  2. It’s an outdated concept
  3. It encourages the wrong behaviours
  4. It’s a short-term solution

1. Leaderboards only benefit those at the top

Leaderboards Body Para 1
Source: Unsplash

Notice how the only people who actually enjoy leaderboards are the ones who are, well, on it. Typically, these would only include top performers or perhaps employees with tons of client-facing work. These days, the ones who display the most effort are the ones always being recognised by their managers and employers.

But what about those who work behind the scenes? Employees whose work barely involves cross-collaboration? Freelancers and contractual workers whose work is often seen as a one-time transaction? How are they supposed to make it up on the leaderboard?

Leaderboards only serve those at the top and leave no room for the underappreciated to get on the ranks, leaving them in the dark. We don’t want to shine a light on just the top performers; everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and recognised in the workplace.

“For those in the top 3, the promise of points and accreditation for your successes, act as your sole motivator to reach the top. For those trapped in the abyss below spot 4, the idea of a numerical value representing your performance makes you want to call it quits.” — Kaizo

2. It’s an outdated concept that needs to go

Leaderboards Body Para 2
Source: Unsplash

When companies think of a way to incentivise and motivate their employees, their first instinct is to create a competition or gamified concept where a prize or award is up for grabs. At the end of the day, it’s still a game. For every person that climbs the ladder, someone moves down the leaderboard.

Yes, competition can influence a winning mindset and motivate employees, ultimately leading to business success. But there are other effective and sustainable ways to do just that.

Today, invariable rewards in exchange for employee performance just don't cut it anymore. It’s time to stop “pitting” our employees against each other, and get them to collaborate and uplift one another. It’s an outdated concept and it needs to go.

3. It encourages the wrong behaviours among teams

Leaderboards Body Para 3
Source: Unsplash

People like winning; it’s just human nature. While there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, it could lead to undesirable outcomes such as hostility and negativity across teams, which could have grave consequences on the organisation as a whole.

Instead of motivating employees through short-term rewards and incentives, how about building a habit of recognition instead? Rather than trying to one-up your teammates to make it on this month’s leaderboard, how about helping and innovating with one another instead? After all, both parties want the same end result anyway.

Ask yourself this. Do you want your employees to only be fueled by rankings on a leaderboard and simple rewards? Or do you want them to be driven by an organisation that supports their growth, recognises their achievements, and has a healthy company culture?

4. It’s a short-term solution that won’t last

Leaderboards Body Para 4
Source: Unsplash

Keeping your teams happy, motivated, and engaged is not a one-time thing. Sure, adopting leaderboards could work to a certain extent. But for how long? You can’t simply award points and grant pay raises, and expect all to be well from here on out.

If you want long-term results, you’re not going to achieve that with short-term solutions. We need to start thinking about the bigger picture, people.

“Instead of having a competition of employees against their peers, people should compete against personal and team goals and benchmarks, not against people.” — Natasha Puri, Zoho

The Solution? Building a Habit of Recognition

We need to go back to the root of it all. The reason why companies turn to leaderboards in the first place is to boost productivity, drive results, and keep teams engaged.

But these things only last for so long before employees start to lose their interest and go back to normal. Besides, there are other sustainable ways to achieve the same results.

So, what’s a solution that would actually last? Building habit.

Preview of PraisePal recognition feed. Source: PraisePal

Multiple studies show the direct link between recognition and engagement with employee satisfaction. But for this to work, it has to be a consistent habit. When employees are fueled by recognition messages from their peers instead of unhealthy competition, you get happier and more motivated teams, ultimately leading to business success and profitability.

So this is why we don’t do leaderboards and why you’ll never see them on our platform. When you nurture your company from the inside, it’ll begin to manifest on the outside.


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