Gamification in the workplace uses game mechanics to drive employee performance. Employee performance KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) are measured in real time – like a Fitbit for work – showing where employees are doing better, having them compete with their goals and past achievements. It is made to drive intrinsic motivation, the sense of mastery and control that comes when we know we are doing our job well.
Yet, most people think of workforce gamification as a thin game veneer applied to work, a “video game at work” that attempts to create motivation through points and badges, bells and whistles. And then, almost immediately, they disbelieve gamification. They are right – making work cute or “fun” or “game-like” doesn’t work, but using gamification like a fitness tracker for work works well, changing more than performance and affecting the culture of thinking and talking about employee performance.
“When brought into the context of business, this means that users of these applications are actively engaged in fun ways with other users who they can interact with through chat and messages, all while learning about a given company and their products.”
Dean Grey, Founder and CEO of Skylab Apps.
Performance management is a good idea: set goals and measure their achievement. The problem is that most performance management practices involve setting of annual goals, which soon become stale. In addition, communication with employees about performance is marred by the practice of ranking employee performance – which people (naturally, of course) find threatening, confrontational and discouraging.
So in practice, many companies are eliminating or re-assessing their performance management practices.
Gamification focuses on the here and now. Imagine a basketball coach who skids along the court, following his team as they invest all their body strength and skills to fight off opponents’ scores, and keep up their offensive within the team. The coach throws out his feedback in real-time so his players can fix their mistakes on the spot. If his point guard is taking too many shots in the first quarter, his coach will have him back on the right track by the end of the second.
Gamification brings this dynamic to your employees’ performance. Feedback is given on-the-spot, by showing performance KPIs and personalized benchmarks and goals within the gamification application, so employees can rectify flaws in real-time, instead of thru retroactive feedback that is weeks or months late.
New management practices are gravitating away from subjective evaluation of employees, and more in the direction of objective and proactive development of employees.
What this brings is a positive process that reflects both to employees and their managers how employees are progressing and which goals are being met, and transparently so. Research about performance management shows that managers are often unaware of the fact that their evaluations are subjective; measuring KPIs in real time can correct this. In this case, there are spillover effects into corporate culture – when evaluation is objective and fair, people feel differently about work and about whether their efforts and performance will be fairly recognized.
Gamification also reflects insights and results to employees (and managers) that effectively enable them to make changes in their work performance. In many cases, in case performance in a certain area is lacking, employees are directed to micro-learning so that they can correct their course and improve their expertise. For example, a new Urbn Pizza’s worker will be motivated to learn about the company he will works for!
A Skylab’s Client, Urbn Pizza, integrates the gamification in the workplace by using this performance process.
Many successful tech companies (Google, Intel, Linkedin and others) use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to communicate goals and objectives to employees. Results are tracked – and people can see the OKRs of their peers. This is a new degree of transparency.
OKRs are used by knowledge workers (product managers, developers, communications managers, etc.), and remain transparent to all their peers, so that every employee in the organization can see what every other employee is working on and setting as a priority.
Gamification is OKR for the workforce: rank and file employees, who don’t have goals like ‘launch new product’, ‘have a successful beta launch’ but are required to perform within certain benchmarks expected of them.
It lets the relevant employee to see how they are doing in comparison to their fellow colleagues, and in what fields they are performing better or worse than those colleagues. This instills a sense of fairness, and a clarity on what employees are supposed to focus on at work. It also lets companies set individualized goals, so that what is expected of employees is fair and achievable.
For example, on this screenshot of the Urbn Pizza app, an employee of one of the Urbn Pizza restaurant can go through a “Prep List” with actions like “Check Bathrooms” or “Check Kitchen”. These actions are proper to the employee experience. Here, it’s the server experience but others exist like Bartender or Cooks. Once the Actions are applied, they are displayed on the Community Recognition Wall. Every other employees and managers in the workplace will be able to see that actions had been taken. If one has been forgotten, another worker can comment the action and the problem is fixed instantly thanks to instant feedback.
Competition is often viewed as a positive motivation method. Well, for many people it isn’t and can even be perceived as a source of unfairness. Sales managers tend to believe in this fallacy and want to manage performance with leaderboards displayed as “employees of the day” on the Urbn Pizza app.
Projecting different employee’s successes to one another on mediums like a leaderboard and showing actual sales isn’t a good idea. It’s true that sales are the objective, yet this isn’t what should be motivated, but rather the activities that drive sales. To generate better sales, gamification would want to drive behaviours and measure them: more calls, qualifying leads, meeting potential and existing clients, etc.
What is the “game” part of gamification? It is the use of game mechanics – like calling out to employees to bet on themselves, showing them completion bars and more – to drive behaviour and engagement. Gamification creates a way for employees to monitor their progress at the workplace and act from a place of intrinsic motivation. In this, it isn’t a game, but it can be a game changer for work performance and culture.
This is what Skylab Apps has created. When CEO Dean Grey set out to build a white labeled social media app where the app owner had 100% autonomy and control he ran in to a big problem. How could we deliver a custom platform if the app owner cannot not make changes to the finished product at the speed of their business or their community’s growth?
To solve the problem, Skylab Apps built a “command center” and attached it to the scalable white labeled social media platform. In essence, it is the equivalent of leasing a new Ferrari and being able to reconfigure the color of the car itself or change the side of the car you would like the steering wheel on at anytime in “real time” making as many changes as you want.
The idea is quite revolutionary. Skylab Apps has really built a platform, not an app. Uber is an app, you download it, use it and when the company updates it, you may see some changes. The Skylab Apps Platform is not Web based or HTML 5. The platform is built to work simultaneously across three platforms:
The Skylab Apps Platform similar to Word press but for the Native Mobile App. To grasp just how big this idea is, you need to understand a little bit about the app development world itself.
15 years ago, it was somewhat difficult to build a website. There was no Squarespace or Shopify. These were ideas back then, and until the advent of WordPress, the chances of you developing a desirable and functioning website without coding knowledge or a computer science degree was about as likely as winning the lottery. At best, the chances of pulling it off on your own was slim to none. WordPress forged the path that changed all of this.
Wordpress was open source and allowed a community of developers to create software plug-ins making it easy for user to ultimately build a website quickly with no coding experience or computer science degree needed. Later on, some for profit companies like Squarespace and Shopify that have made the user experience even more seamless.
Skylab Apps set out to simplify the process for the end user delivering on the promise of a seamless mobile platform across all major interfaces that tackled and solved all of the major problems that exist in the mobile app development space today.
“Skylab has revolutionized the rapidly growing cheerleading industry by providing cheerleaders, coaches, and gym owners the best opportunity to train, learn, and develop their skill-set as they strive to become world class athletes. By utilizing the Skylab platform, we are now able to use gamification to connect a global industry, and the result is extraordinary.”
Alex McCarthy | 5-Time world Champion & CEO / Founder of The Cheer Apps
Big companies are catching on too! Skylab Apps has a growing list of some major clients including Amway, Allysian Health Sciences and Jack Canfield Companies. In addition to the mounting success of Skylab App, the are attracting some huge talent from companies like Walt Disney, UFC, Fan Duel and HITACHI. Take a look at the Executive team and check out the endorsements they have gotten so far, it is nothing short of amazing!
“Skylab Apps technology gives me the platform to engage with my community through chat, trainings, and recognition all while giving my community a place that isn’t bombarded with traditional social media noise.”
Apolo Ohno | Short Track Speed Skater and an eight time medalist in the Winter Olympics / Co-Founder of Allysian Sciences
“We do not guess, we spot the trends and strategize.”
–Dean Grey | Skylab Apps CEO
Here is some Quick History For you:
The only tech out there even close to what the Skylab Apps platform does is already antiquated or at best years behind what has been created by Skylab.
For more information or to request a demo to see the platform, please visit www.Skylabapps.com
“The Role of a great leader is not to give greatness to human beings, but to help them extract the greatness they already have inside them.”
A Leader’s quote
As we rise into leadership roles, it’s not always easy to walk the talk. Of course, we want to be wise sages, counseling our charges and inspiring them to greatness. But that’s easier said than done. The challenge was particularly acute for Karl Allen, co-founder and CEO of Planet Jockey, a company that creates management courses in the form of online games. He knew it would be a sad irony if the head of a company selling leadership games wasn’t much of a leader, himself. So he vowed to step up – and here are the lessons he learned through playing his company’s games and vowing to become the right kind of CEO.
Planet Jockey’s game teaches the principles of “buoyant leadership” – what Allen describes as “a concept whereby, as a leader, you float [on top] because the people you lead believe you deserve it.” (The concept is discussed in depth in a book called The Case of the Missing Cutlery by Kevin Allen, Karl’s partner in business and life.) But Karl recognizes that while buoyancy is the goal, he won’t always be perfect. “I can do it at times,” he says. “But sometimes [negative] instinct takes over, and it takes over really fast.” These days, he can recognize when he feels his temper rising at work, and can guide himself back into a more inspirational mode of leadership.
In evaluating his leadership style, Karl Allen recognized that sometimes in the past, he’s prioritized being ‘nice’ – which has driven him to avoid saying what he really means. That doesn’t serve anyone, he’s concluded. He recalls one incident where he felt one of Planet Jockey’s Udemy classes wasn’t gaining traction fast enough. The best possible reaction, he says, would have been to tell his staffer, “You’re doing an amazing job, and I’ve got a great idea for all the ways” we can grow further. He also could have directly discussed the critiques he had of the marketing. Instead, he recalls, “I phoned her up and said, ‘I think we’re really dropping the ball.’ It’s passive-aggressive, because when I say ‘we,’ I mean ‘you.’ And that’s terrible and destructive.” Planet Jockey’s games have helped him to realize where he went wrong.
Meetings are critical. One of the areas where Allen knows he fell short initially was in running staff meetings. “Before, I’d just get everyone into a meeting and start chatting and people would shout at me and I’d shout back at them,” he recalls. “What I learned after playing the game is that you need some rules. It’s not just about inspiring people; meetings need to be structured. For instance, you need smaller meetings, so you should try to limit it to 6-8 people. That way you know you can get to hear everybody’s point of view and everyone gets a chance to talk.” Overall, he says, “You need to know what needs to come out of the meeting, and have a clear sense of who’s there and why they’re there.”
Early on, says Allen, he would sometimes take too narrow a view of what others could contribute. “The game taught me that people within your team have a lot more to offer than sometimes you realize,” he says. As a result, he started a team practice in which staffers sit down and share what they’re doing outside of work. That’s how he learned about one employee’s side calligraphy business, which she was pursuing with a friend who worked at a company Allen was targeting. Allen had always thought of his staffer as being expert in “digital marketing, not face-to-face sales.” But with a little coaching, she was able to persuade her friend to make an introduction at her company. “I realized she has an amazing sales persona,” says Allen. “She built that skill and we got a huge piece of business.”
The conversation is what matters. When it comes to a topic like leadership, there will never be 100% agreement about the best approach to a given situation. That’s how Allen came to realize that the real value of the game is in the conversation it sparks. “The learning from the game wasn’t even so much from the game itself,” he says. “The learning is from the reflection on the game – how well you did, or thought you did…You learn because you have to fight it out and discuss it [with colleagues]. The answers are ambiguous and part of a learning process.”
“It is no secret that networking is the best path to a fruitful career.”
MindMovies is one Skylab’s Client. Through the Channels section, you can access to great content about leadership and entrepreneurship directly on the app. Each Skylab app provides great training and learning section related to the appropriate business sector.
Skylab CEO, Dean Grey knows all about anchoring a decision. from his humble upbringing living off the grid on a boat in the Florida Keys to traveling around the world tasked with teaching and mentoring tens of thousands of people; Dean deeply understands how to make that monumental change.
It wasn’t long ago when the idea of the Skylab Apps platform would was simply a figment of Dean’s Imagination. He had a big dream, and grand vision, but so do thousands of people every day. The difference is that when Dean made the decision to step in to a new role and start Skylab Apps he dropped the anchor, put his head down and got to work. a couple years later, the vision has become a reality. Ultimately, it was a culmination of Deans 9 environments that led him and Skylab to success.
“Individuals learn better when they are learning in engaging social environments.”
The physical environment includes the very tangible aspects of our lives…our home, office, car, furnishings, artwork, toys, boats, and accessories. The physical environment provides visual clues to what is going on in our lives. Clutter, noise, broken equipment can be visual clues to looking deeper to discover our thoughts, energy and behaviors.
The Skylab Apps corporate office is a collaborative and creative working loft. Everything from the music, office space and food is hand selected to make sure you have to best experience to help you thrive in the work place. We have a gym onsite so you can take care of your body and give your mind a mental break.
The spiritual environment includes our connections to a higher power, to God or Spirit, the invisible connection we feel to others and the universe. It includes methods of connecting to spiritual aspects of life such as meditation, prayer, and places of worship. We wanted to make sure that our workplace was situated in a beautiful place. Lucky for us, we are right next to the ocean with lots of quiet places where you can go and get spiritual.
The memetic environment includes ideas, values, thoughts, beliefs, paradigms, styles and habits that are passed down from generation to generation. The memetic environment also includes information and knowledge (books, websites, magazines, television, and radio)
The body environment includes the body, hair, skin, nails, health and energy. This environment touches the network environment, as it includes physicians, skin care consultants, massage therapists, hair dressers, physical therapists, dietitians, personal trainers and other professionals who support your physical body and well being.
We understand that it you want top performance out of your body, then you have to treat your body well!
The self environment includes our strengths, talents, personalities, feelings, emotions, values, passions and skills. The self environment includes the intangible aspects of our beings.
The nature environment includes nature, parks, bodies of water, the seasons of the year, pets, plants, the seasons of life, and the outdoors. As humans, we are a part of nature, so access to this environment is crucial for our survival and ultimate well-being. A great place about where we work is that its open, inviting and blended well with the elements
The relationship environment includes those people in our lives who are closest to us and with whom we have an intimate connection. This includes family, close friends, close colleagues, co-workers, mentors and neighbors who are in our lives on a daily basis. It has been said that a team that plays well together works well together. Our professional life is personal, so we make sure to take time to develop relationships with our co-workers and clients in and out side of the office.
The network environment is an extension of the relationship environment. It includes people with whom you are on a first name basis, yet you may not have a deep and intimate connection. The network environment includes business associates, community organizations, support groups you belong to. The goal of the network environment is usually to provide an exchange of information and to build bridges to people who can support you in enhancing both your business and personal life.
The financial environment includes bills, credit cards, money, investments, insurance, stocks and bonds and the people who support your financial well-being (accountants, financial planners, stock brokers). This environment also includes any tools or support services you use to achieve your financial goals files, computer programs, budgets, banks. When exploring the financial environment, it is also important to look closely at the relationship a person has with money and their beliefs around money and prosperity/abundance.
“It is important to take stock of these environmental factors and make sure that they come together to work for our benefit and maximize our productivity towards our individual goals.”
All of the work being done at Skylab Apps is with the environments in mind. When a client is met, they go through a process called ADG, which stands for Appify, Gamify and Design. Skylab doesn’t just build mobile apps, they create worlds for their clients! Each one of these worlds combines the essence of the clients culture and ultimately the 9 elements can be seen through out the flawless design of the native mobile platform.
The Trilogy Game, Makes creating healthy habits fun, and encourages users to create healthy environments. The concept was created by Greg Rex, a certified Health coach, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His website: http://www.tsfl.com
Users join a community of like-minded people all on a journey to create Optimal Health and Well Being. The Trilogy represents the 3 key areas of optimal health; healthy body, healthy mind and healthy finances. This app along with the support of a certified health coach can help you integrate simple daily actions that can turn into lifelong habits of health. There are 3 levels of the Trilogy Game you can participate : as a fan, as a player or as a coach.
For more information about Skylab Apps, or to see how appify your world, please get in touch with us at Skylabapps.com