Despite this marketing stunt, this is actually a pretty professional app.
The gamification of life continues apace. Maybe someday, we’ll find a way to win the game of life that doesn’t involve blue and pink pegs in a little plastic car. Until then, we can always work out how to compete – we saw fitness made into a game with a lot of fitness trackers, and now we’re seeing it in professional life.
Welcome to ROIKOI, the leaderboard of the business world. You can create an account, then get to rating your co-workers, giving them a score of hire, skip, or fire – gotta love the nuance. That all gets turned into a numerical score, with the best scores hitting the top of regional, company-wide, or sector-based leaderboards. Supposedly, ROIKOI can only be used to give good people credit for good work – your score is only shown publicly if you land in the top half of at least one leaderboard.
That’s obviously problematic, and it’s easy to see ROIKOI score turning into the same kind of corporate weeding system as Klout. It’s pretty clear that, if ROIKOI became popular, not having your score publicly shown would be stigmatized – whether your ROIKOI is showing a low score or no score at all, the same negative connotation is there. You can always remove yourself from ROIKOI after joining, but again, if ROIKOI actually took off, that would bear a stigma, too.
Is that a problem? In theory, that would just weed out the lesser workers, and bring more recognition to the cream of the crop. The problem is that voting is anonymous, and that ROIKOI uses Facebook to check your work history and suggest people to rate. Of course, ROIKOI is virtually unthinkable without anonymous voting, but all the same, your ROIKOI score could be equally influenced by a level-headed assessment from a co-worker and that guy down the hall who doesn’t like your taste in shoes. There’s no way of verifying that ROIKOI will actually measure what it sets out to measure – how good you are at your job – but that probably won’t stop lazy hiring managers from using it as a quick tool to narrow down the applicant pool. The lack of nuance in the voting system makes it even less likely that ROIKOI could ever serve as a proper rating mechanism.
Ultimately, getting to the top of ROIKOI is going to be a lot like getting voted Most Likely to Succeed in your high school yearbook – how useful that is, I don’t know.