Coinbase buys app that forces workers to rate each other after every interaction

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In perhaps the weirdest way of gamifying the workplace, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is developing a way for employees to rate each other. Does the dystopian rating system have any merit? Or is it just a way of making people hate work more than usual?

Coinbase uses employee rater Dot Collection

Reported by Insider, Coinbase has partnered with Bridgewater Associates to implement Dot Collector into every day work. The app allows employees to rate each other, helping or hindering their internal rating.

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Dot Collector was designed to enforce “radical transparency” within Bridgewater Associates. The application is said to be purpose-built to enforce blunt honesty, making sure employees instantly report issues with other employees.

The application is said to be used after every meeting between numerous employees. After the meeting, Dot Collector asks everyone to rate each other across ten core values, including clear communication and positive energy. They can rate either a thumbs up, thumbs down or neutral position.

This isn’t even the most controversial aspect of Bridgewater Associates’ management structure. The hedge fund company also engages in “public hangings” in which companies are expected to openly, loudly berate and criticise each other in front of other employees. This means that workers are frequently turned against each other, destroying workplace relationships.

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Does radical transparency work?

As for the effectiveness of Bridgewater Associates’ and Coinbase’s new managerial styles, that’s yet to be fully determined. However, some studies have already claimed that this aggressive management is only going to hinder work environments.

Via Fortune, Harvard Business School professor Ethan Bernstein claimed in 2014 that radical transparency doesn’t work the way employers claim it does. Instead of fostering more trust between workers and employers, it, in fact, does the oppositkine.

With this kind of aggressive observation and manipulated snitching, workers are more likely to despise their employers. Additionally, Bernstein claims these methods “leave employees feeling exposed and vulnerable”, forcing them to seek more privacy at work. This means that employers “instinctively start to monitor employee behavior even more intensely”.

Essentially, radical transparency creates a melting pot of emotions, pushing workers to their limits. This has already been seen with companies such as Amazon which use AI to monitor delivery drivers. With every step questioned, workers will either turn against employers or against each other.