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Five useful Apple Watch applications for business


Track productivity with BetterWorks

Source:  photo: iStock; app: BetterWorks
Visual Editor: Sarah Evans/TechTarget

BetterWorks, the maker of an enterprise goal-tracking application, knows how to design apps for iOS. Its head of engineering, Jonathan Cheyer, was part of the team that designed Siri and worked at Apple after it purchased Siri in 2010.

The BetterWorks for Apple Watch app helps employees and their managers track the real-time progress of individual or group goals. The app uses data analysis technology to quantify the percentage of current progress toward goals, which are each represented by a dot on the main display that changes color based on whether the project is on track, needs attention or has fallen behind.

BetterWorks also shows how many people have viewed the goal and allows others to send messages of positive reinforcement. Some employees might not love the invasion of privacy at work, but others might enjoy the collaborative aspect and increased transparency BetterWorks provides.

Another app, CommitTo3, provides a similar service with fewer bells and whistles. As the name suggests, the app asks users to share three goals for the day, which they then check off manually as they complete them, allowing for a smidge more privacy.

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Is the BetterWorks app an employee motivator or an intrusion of privacy?
Some creative approaches to implementing this could mitigate privacy concerns over sharing goal progress with team members. Only sharing the progress of a few top performers would avoid singling out struggling employees. Piloting the app with a low-pressure goal such as raising money for a partner charity or taking a healthy number of steps in a day could start the program off sharing less personal data. Implementing new technologies driven by transparency requires a transparent process and managers need to do the work of gathering genuine input and making changes as needed to ensure an app like this isn't a detractor from morale.