Relationships and merit: how Technology makes enterprises more human



It might seem a paradox but, in a working world full of technological buzzwords and insane attention to data, people are the ones who are actually making a difference. To have efficient, effective and human driven organisations, it is an absolute must for people to be collaborative and able to work together.

Such is the contradiction that the HR world is now livinga world that is becoming more and more analytical, filled by technology and, at the same time, prone to agile approaches and deeply interested in promoting different competencies – much needed to face all the challenges that digital transformation is bringing to every organisation.

HR professionals are often facing these situations:

  • Unfortunately quite often, performance evaluation systems and rewards schemes are not efficient initiatives to retain talent (people do not feel rewarded on merit). Top-down bonuses (the ones given directly from the business to the employee according to manager’s evaluations) are usually not enough to reward the real contribute a person is giving to the company. Performance evaluation is mostly based on achieving a result, not considering behaviours that are happening daily during the employee’s work – “how” a task is actually done is rarely taken into consideration.
  • The human side is more and more often a central element: different competencies, also known as soft skills, are vital in a context of continuous change. Difficulty in communication, lack of team working abilities, the insufficient collaboration amongst people and the organisational areas are still one of the main inefficiency factors within organisations. Moreover, it is quite hard to get constant feedback on someone’s work: feedback is usually given after performance reviews and mainly by managers and not by colleagues.
  • Having a set of data on how competencies are distributed is now becoming more and more relevant. Mapping the relationships inside the organisation helps making career decisions and staff organisation. In such a specific domain, what is often lacking, are the so called People Analytics, quite important info from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective, on employees and associates and very useful for Talent Management.

These problems can be partially solved by adopting several different solutions:

  1. P2P reward: a way where colleagues can reward each other;
  2. Employee recognition & Continuous Feedback platforms;
  3. Skill Assessment and 360 Degree Feedback tools and platforms, to be evaluated by managers, colleagues and self-evaluation;
  4. Company’s Social Networks.

It is quite rare for a company to implement and integrate all these different solutions. This is how the idea for Big Up! was started.


Some years ago Interlogica – whose business structure is horizontal and agile – started to find a bonus and reward system which could easily answer the company’s context and culture. The identified solution is called “Merit Money”. Such approach rewards the mutual recognition amongst colleagues in the work environment, substituting the classic method of performance top-down. At the base of such solution lies the concept of merit.

The logic behind how bonuses are distributed is therefore changed: from measuring individual performances and assigning bonus from the heads of the business (top-down approach) we now have recognition of competences (which can translate into prizes) among colleagues to reward not results but collaboration, competence and dedition instead. All these characteristics are easy to be seen in the daily life (peer-to-peer approach): from simply rewarding just something that someone does, we now reward the quality of “how it is done”.

After testing an “analogical” solution with the exchange of physical tokens (coins with money value), it was decided to actually go ahead with a software solution which facilitates the exchange and which is also more in line with what Interlogica does.

Big Up! was subsequently created, a peer to peer platform (P2P) reward based on blockchain technology in which the token is managed by a Smart Contract with memorised transactions on a private blockchain – Ethereum based (click here to learn more), All transactions are memorised in a safe way and its gamification system allows every individual to point out competences and skills for working together through a mechanism which assigns feedback – automatically translated into digital tokens.


Every single person, employee and coworker has a digital “wallet” which also includes a personal profile.

Inside it there are several info:

  • The balance of “tokens” gained
  • The total of tokens given out each month by the company (equal to every employee) to hand out to colleagues by the end of the month,
  • How many tokens are left and are ready to be distributed
  • The list of feedback (together with the number of tokens) given by colleagues

Every person can use the tokens available to leave a feedback with a personalised message to recognise their colleagues for their soft skills (a list which is actually prepared by the company) used whilst working.

Every token received will add up on the personal wallet.

Everyone can see the messages received, the rewarded competences and the people who gave them more rewards.

This is a simple and fast way for giving and receiving feedback to your colleagues and for understanding how the perception of each one’s skills evolve during the time in the company.

A whole new process of reciprocal competences reward starts within the business, a system that starts from the bottom, from the colleagues who every day can see the best anyone of them can bring during their job and not waiting for their managers to be the only ones able to recognise them.

It is easy and effective. The system can also be used from mobile devices – it is a super easy app to use. The social aspect and the gamification mechanism are fundamental to encourage people to use it whilst making it fun to use.

Another important aspect is the decision of not showing the “top earners” or other sensitive info since it would be unhealthy for the business to start competitions which would then lead to modify the aim of the application – facilitating a healthy communication and collaboration.

What is actually gained with the tokens? Well, they are not like the classic bonus. Once earned, the tokens can be changed according to every company’s times and ways. The mechanism is therefore less foreseeable and more flexible.

The mechanism of prize together with a focus on someone’s strongest and improvable skills are the factors which push towards a constant use of the platform, guaranteeing constant feedback and regular “evaluations” among colleagues and not limited to specific periods of time – the typical dynamic of traditional evaluation systems instead.

Interactions among people become, for the HR Manager, an updated source of data which can be constantly checked – given by those who are living the daily life. It then becomes possible to monitor which are the emerging competencies in the business, how they are distributed and how they change in time.

It is also possible to map relationships inside the organisation (between who exchanges feedback and competencies rewards) and to identify the different relationship network among people in the different team, depts and functions.

The HR Manager can then identify the most fundamental relationship bonds and their frequency. He/She can recognise the business areas where a good collaboration lies and where help or intervention might be needed.


For the company, all these info, together with assessment tools such as feedback 360, allow to identify and map the competences inside the business, to reorganise different teams according to the emerging dynamics and manage in a more precise and punctual way, career paths.


This is what Big Up! is. A technological tool that helps the work environment in understanding how relations and ways of working evolve in time, how they solidify and become stronger, how bonuses can make people happier and motivated.

How many and which exactly are the advantages?

  • A system that rewards merit, recognised by those who work together every day.
  • A better communication among people through the introduction of a constant feedback culture – this brings collaborational behaviour to increase
  • A constant database on the distribution of soft skills and on relationship dynamics that take place in the company. The HR team can take decisions about People Development Organisational Project Management based on Analytics.

All these elements allow a company to be agile on the market, easily adaptable in its structure and internal competencies and prone to support communication and collaboration with people.

Who wouldn’t want an organisation and a work environment where people are appreciated for their personal and interpersonal qualities, where everyone is collaborative and happy to share constant feedback!

In order to happen, a gradual cultural change needs to take place first, to make sure the maximum effect is reached. The company starts moving from evaluating through KPIs decided by managers towards a daily evaluation carried out by colleagues; from the individual performance rewards soft skills and ability to collaborate can be easily identified.

To implement an innovative tool such as Big Up!, its introduction needs to be done progressively and with ad hoc assistance. Such process needs to be guided by experts in the field to make sure every single person can understand what it implies, its benefits and its objectives.

In the current digital context we all agree that observation is just not enough. HR professionals are finding it extremely difficult to swing between technologies that rarely give complete data and insights on the business complex reality, especially on its most human side. The potential of making emerge criticalities, relationships and competence becomes essential.

More understanding and awareness of both communication and of the relationship network can be grasped immediately. Not being eaten by the market means that the company needs to be flexible and adopt all the tools that can add value to the business, which translates into people.


Are you ready to embrace this brand new organisational approach and you want to try this cultural change in your business? Get in touch!




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