To answer these questions, we need to give The Science of Engagement some context. Gamification is the new normal and these tactics are being used to compete for your audience’s attention. At it’s root, the science itself is centered around brand advertising effectiveness and user behavior. The conduit for measurement, however, is being defined on a daily basis by developing technologies emerging from the tech sector. Here are the main points to look at.
“The basis of disruption is that competitors are creating new markets. The playing field is changing, not the product or service. And few incumbents can afford the breadth of imagination to envision a new playing field.”
― Haydn Shaughnessy, Platform, Disruption, Wave: How the Platform Economy is Changing the World
As author Haydn Shaughnessy states in his quote above, the playing field is changing and causing disruption, but not the product or service itself. Case and point: What does the largest hotel chain and the largest taxi company in the world have in common? Both Uber and Airbnb do not own a single property or a car that they rent out to consumers, yet they now dominate both of their industries. Similarly, mobile platform creator Skylab Apps is becoming the platform influencers and brands go to build and own their tribes.
Skylab Apps has created a white-labeled social engagement platform that allows clients to leverage a multi-million dollar platform to create eco-systems similar to companies like Uber and AirBnB at a fraction of what it would cost a company to build on their own.
Everyday enterprise brands tell us they think the Skylab platform is quite remarkable as it solves some of their toughest ‘pain points’ around communication and engagement with key stakeholders like employees and customers.
This concept is hugely disruptive as it would give power to just about anyone with a few thousand bucks and a desire to engage their tribe or community to get on the playing field.
If you’re going to make it rain, you better own at least one of the buckets. Influencers and brands desire to drive their existing communities from all forms of media and into a playground ( platform ) they control. For the first time, they have the ability to train, track, reward, and recognize their tribe and co-creators through the Skylab Platform.
By default, we usually don’t own our tribe or the game board that we are playing on. Influencers commonly use social media like Facebook Groups or meetup.com as a way to manage and grow their community. Through understanding The Science of Engagement, influencers can make the quantum leap of graduating their followers from 3rd party platforms that limit their engagement to their own digital sandbox where they can own the platform, and ultimately turning their tribe and co-creators in to a referral army that organically grows and out-performs paid advertising.
A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, video maker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
Companies like Skylab, AirBnB and Uber understand that their platforms have to meet their user’s needs. More importantly, they need to keep their users engaged for long enough to take an action, and then measure those actions. This empowers tribes, co-creators, and any part of their respective communities to get involved. For Uber, it’s a new driver, or a new rider. For AirBnB, a new client can mean a homeowner or renter. On the Skylab Platform, this engagement between brand and communities can mean a variety of things based on the client’s business model.
For Allysian Science, leveraging the Skylab platform did amazing things for their community. The platform created some incredible results in the form of DAUs (Daily Active Users) and MAUs (Monthly active users.) Seen here is an example of one of the Allysian distributors mobile profile. From the dashboard view, you can find all kinds of information about the user: How many actions they have taken, what they did, courses they completed and even how many times they shared the application with others.
Sure, Having a platform that collects data is great… Being able to have access to all that data makes things really interesting…
“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.”
The CheerLife; another company using the Skylab platform has created an an industry specific app for the Cheer community. For the last 4 years, in the U.S. alone, an average of 410 people join cheerleading everyday. 75% of cheerleaders consider it important to keep up with the latest trends because cheerleading has a role in many team sports, in addition to cheer-specific competitions, participation requires year-round dedication.
CEO of the Cheer apps had this to say about Skylab:
“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 Co-Founder of CheerLife about Skylab
This is the Science of Engagement being defined right before your eyes, and it is only happening like this on one platform, the Skylab Apps platform.
Gamification has gained traction in recent years as an effective way of engaging users to perform actions in contexts that would otherwise be considered tedious and undesirable. Education is an area in which user engagement could have the greatest impact on success, with some advantages for users to improve or get better comprehension. Our goal in doing so is to foster greater user engagement using the system and thereby promote an environment better suited for active social learning.
Skylab has built a Proprietary algorithm that places emphasis on commonly understood human habits and then leveraged technology to gamify the experience of Learning for example.
“It’s Play That Helps Us Do Serious Things Better.”
“When you have a Game Like Platform where knowledge is applied, knowledge becomes a resource. The more you know the better you are at the Game.”
–Dean Grey: SkyLab Apps CEO
In essence, it’s “Human-Focused Design” as opposed to “Function-Focused Design” Skylab has thought and developed The Gamification Engine The perfect blend of Science, Psychology and Technology.
Imagine having a way to communicate (Smart Chat), engage, teach (Multimedia Channels, Gamified Trainings, Recognition Wall), reward (Contests, Habit Tracking), and monetize (In-App Purchases) your affinity group or community within one platform that you own.
That’s what we do!
Epic Meaning & Calling
Core Drive is a player’s belief that he is doing something greater than himself or that he was “chosen” to do something. This creates a player who devotes a lot of his time to maintaining a forum or helping to create things for the entire community.
Development & Accomplishment
The internal motivation of making progress, developing skills, and eventually overcoming challenges drives community.
Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback
Users are engaged in a creative process of repeatedly figuring things out and trying different combinations. People need ways to express their creativity, and to be able to see the results of their creativity, receive feedback, and respond in turn.
Ownership & Possession
When a player feels ownership, he/she is motivated to make what he/she owns better and own even more. If a person spends a lot of time to customize his/her profile or his/her avatar, he/she automatically feels more ownership towards it too.
Social Influence & Relatedness
All the social elements that drive people, including: mentorship, acceptance, social responses, companionship, as well as competition and envy.
Scarcity & Impatience
The fact that people can’t get something right now motivates them to think about it all day long. Many games have Appointment Dynamics within them (come back 2 hours later to get your reward).
Unpredictability & Curiosity
Drive is wanting to find out what will happen next. If you don’t know what’s going to happen, your brain is engaged and you think about it often. This core drive is activated whenever a company runs a sweepstake or lottery program to engage users.
Users complete a series of steps to fulfill the challenge. Each step completed gives you a small reward, discount, or badge (e.g. 50% Discount at Starbucks). By completing all the steps you will earn the big reward. The goal here is to be the Pokemon Scavenger Hunt for businesses, thus getting people out of the house/office to capture their experiences in the real world.
App Sharing creates a virality effect that drives community growth for the client, sponsor awareness, and behavioural data for the brand.This is critical for our advertisers and Skylab’s business model; as our success is tied to the growth of the client’s audience and behavioural data. For the user, it provides a fun way to engage in the growth of the cause/movement, creating a deeper desire to belong.
Voting invites the user to share selfies or photos for a reward as they engage within a popularity contest. People get excited about the recognition and rewards inside a private community where they feel the odds are higher than social media. As they increase engagement within their community, they feed a desire to belong.
The overall goal of the App Sharing & Voting contest is to maximize the MAU/DAU (Monthly or Daily Active User) of their user base with gamification tactics, thus instantly increasing the value of the company.
It puts the learner at the center of the people, information, and learning content they need. Comments on content increase community knowledge and understanding as well as drive engagement.
Community content enhances collaboration. Notes, comments, and ratings specific to your organization improve communication among teams and the organization as a whole.
According to expert Jakob Nielsen, 90% of participants don’t contribute, though they find value in what they read and observe. The next 9% add to existing discussions, with 1% creating most commentary and giving the community food for thought.
Social learning connects people with relevant content, learning assets, and expert information specific to an organization’s unique culture. This combination of content, commentary, and community amplifies learning and helps you maximize your return on learning investments.
CREATING NEW CONNECTIONS
Social learning offers access to colleagues outside an employee’s traditional sphere, which can spark innovation and leverage connections to employees they may not otherwise engage with.
A good social learning platform protects your information, while allowing employees to find, create, and share knowledge, learning assets, and expertise with their colleagues – without compromising security.
Game elements that can facilitate learning
Social learning is often coupled with game mechanics when you want to take audience engagement to the next level. We define social learning as an online learning experience where learners are able to see what other learners are doing and control other learners’ gameplay or content. With social learning, you can send messages to other learners, challenge a colleague to a challenge, leave a souvenir, and even create content to change the learning experience. The most common form of social learning that you can implement is a leaderboard. Simply seeing how well other learners are doing can get your audience excited and motivated to take training over and over again.
Doing our jobs is serious business, but learning about it doesn’t have to be. We’ve helped innovative organizations around the world make learning that’s as addictive as Candy Crush.
Some of the potential benefits of successful gamification initiatives include:
I definitely dislike to see people get duped by adwords monitoring solutions that do not live up to the principles of adwords monitoring. Not only do these certain business injure their customers but they likewise hurt the entire adwords administration industry by offering the rest of us a negative track record. I am composing this short article to show you specifically just what to look for so you won’t get burned by sorry, so called “adwords monitoring”. I will show you exactly what to look for so you can be certain to locate a top-of the-line adwords administration service.
There are 5 details, really important things you should seek when picking a high quality adwords monitoring service. While it can be quite complicated to recognize these 5 essential points or processes rather, I will certainly inform you specifically just what inquiries to ask so that you will discover an adwords administration solution that is absolutely expert as well as in addition to the adwords video game. Real Adwords professionals can respond to the adhering to concerns. Be sure to ask and also get the answer to every one of these questions prior to you dare outsource your adwords monitoring. If the adwords management solution agent can answer these 5 concerns with responses comparable or similar to the ones below, I ‘d claim you are in excellent hands.
Do You Deal Split Testing? What is the significance of it? To start with, the representative needs to obviously response. “Yes” to the hand component of this concern. Split screening is an essential part of effective adwords administration. Split testing is exceptionally crucial due to the fact that it assists find which ads are most reliable as well as which ads attract one of the most clicks. It also assists decrease click costs because Google incentives much better doing ads with lower click expenses and also greater advertisement placement.
Exactly how do you arrange my adwords campaigns? Adwords projects must be arranged as well as totally repositioned to ensure that the keywords are divided right into very carefully knit, appropriate adgroups. It is essential that the leading performing key words are taken into adgroups of their own in order to achieve best relevancy.
What steps do you take to Maximize my Advertisements? Don’t be tricked if an associate claims, “We understand precisely which headings transform the ideal and we understand the best ways to create expert advertisement copy. Blah blah blah.” That is crap. Maximizing ads suggest insuring the key phrase browsed on programs up 3 times in the advertisement; as soon as in the headline, when in the advertisement message and when in the screen LINK. Google rewards these kinds of advertisements with higher ad positioning and also reduced click prices. Google likes significance. Likewise Insure that the adwords monitoring service composes a details advertisement for each keyword phrase you have. Anything less is merely lazy.
Exactly how Do You Change My Bidding? What’s one of the most reliable kind of bidding process in Google adwords now? Its certainly bidding using Google’s Conversion Optimizer. If they don’t mention anything concerning that after that think just what? That adwords administration solution is formally out-dated! Any type of professional adwords monitoring service understands bid administration with Google’s Conversion optimizer is the method to go. Absolutely nothing else defeats it.
Just what Proceeding education does your personnel experience? You ‘d much better think continuing education and learning is a massive component of successful adwords monitoring. The Google Adwords globe is always transforming. If you’re not continually studying as well as investing money on research after that you will swiftly fall behind. The most innovative adwords management solutions invest tens of countless dollars on proceeding education and learning. Do not be terrified to request evidence of proceeding education and learning. Besides it is you money at risk.
Digital marketing is taking the globe by tornado with continuous and continuous expansion. This has actually made it crucial for firms to understand characteristics that could help them be successful making use of the enormous potential of this electronic medium. Nonetheless, the problem that is troubling firms; especially business owners, is absence of, or entirely non-existent efficient approaches for success. This issue functions as a huge limitation as well as avoids entrepreneurs from attaining their goals.
A perfectly intended and effectively carried out technique for electronic advertising is the key for beating competition. The ability to grow in this rapidlymoving economic situation for new companies hinges on just how efficiently they have the ability to first adjust and also after that plan electronic media.
The tilt towards digital media for entrepreneurs
Right from cellular phones to social networks, electronic devices are permeating industries like never ever in the past. Consumers as well are turning mainly to this medium for virtually every demand. So, despite whether you are a big company, a business owner, or a launch, and also irrespective of the dimension of your company, discovering electronic advertising and also after that leveraging its potential to your advantage is the demand of this hour. Involving and interacting positively with your customers are activities that can be carried out efficiently with electronic advertising and marketing.
Learn prior to your dive
Nonetheless, there is still a problem for entrepreneurs. The buzz around modern technology developments such as digital advertising is so vast that recognizing everything then selecting just what matches perfectly is complex. Merely selecting something just due to the fact that it is trending is not mosting likely to work. This may additionally lead to backfiring. Also if you employ specialists for this task, learning about the work yourself is incredibly essential.
So the essential depend on reaching the origins of the trade on your own with quality training in Digital Marketing. This could be done from some excellent as well as reputed digital advertising colleges. This tool changes virtually routinely and you should remain in sync. For this, finding out the profession can not be ignored.
is all about drawing on your resources and taking advantage of new opportunities.”
At Skylab, we have a growing, but tight-nit group of core members. Its immensely important (both for your professional development, and the increasing value of Skylab as a company) that every day, and every week, each individual team member is accomplishing definitive tasks, and producing valuable assets.
By having clear goals, and understanding perfectly the Vision and Expectations of your daily task or project, you can ensure that you stay productive.
You might think that productive just means “doing a lot of work” or “working really hard all day”. Its far more than that, as this video should demonstrate to you:
That’s why we use the VEAC : VEAC is at the heart of Skylab‘s Culture. It is the process we use to go about our work day, start a new project, and communicate with each other. Read each part of the VEAC carefully. Incorporate these terms into your daily communication with the team and it will increases your productivity as a team and as an individual! Skylab supports all of its clients to use the VEAC model.
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”
“We all naturally want to become successful… we also want to take shortcuts. And it’s easy to do so, but you can never take away the effort of hard work and discipline and sacrifice.”
The Future of Work is changing. Are you ready?
Working Nation is one Skylab’s Client. Through the Channels section, you can access to content about leadership and productivity directly on the app. Each Skylab app provides great training and learning section related to the particular business sector.
“Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better thank is absolutely essential.”
Anyone who has ever worked with an overbearing self-promoter knows there is a big difference between a show-off and a superstar. Downplaying your skill set won’t do much for your reputation, either. The key to shining in the office is to find a balance between sharing and bragging and focusing more on being than seeming helpful, encouraging, organized, prepared and genuine.
There is truth in the saying that people will never forget how you made them feel. Instead of rushing to your desk and putting your head down, make an effort to say good morning/hello to everyone from your receptionist to your boss and ask them how things are going every once in awhile. In doing so, you can help to diffuse any misinformed projections, build relationships with your team that will inevitably boost productivity and set yourself apart from those who only acknowledge those who can help them in some way.
Take a few moments each morning to understand what you want the outcome of your day to be. After you have a clear picture, identify the most important tasks to take on in order to achieve it. These are the ones that will bring you to the result you want to achieve and help you stay on track when the inevitable interruptions and social media temptations begin to seep in.
This sounds obvious, but how many people know someone who is always running late, shows up to meetings without notes or always has an excuse for a missed deadline or sloppy work? Try and bring one well thought-out idea to each meeting instead of trying to shoot off five off of the top of your head (or offering none at all) and meet your deadlines with edited work instead of trying to beat them and move to the next thing.
Give weekly updates and take it upon yourself to lead the charge when it comes to following up on projects (before they are due). Information exchange offers a great benefit to those who are opening the lines of communication. Not only are you showing the work you have done in a non-aggressive way, you are also leading team members who may have needed a reminder or a little guidance as to how to get things done.
This doesn’t mean to play the “that is not in my job title” card, but more a reminder to step up and give 100% but don’t take on other people’s duties to show off or play the martyr. You want to share your knowledge and wisdom without stepping on anyone’s toes or disempowering them. Teach them how to fish and hold them accountable the same as you expect them to.
If you respect and adopt these simple steps, your behavior will change and it will results in the workplace’s harmony where each member’s behavior contribute. All of those steps can be enhanced by Gamification.
A prime example of a company who is taking the gamification world by storm is Skylab Apps. At Skylab, one great use for Gamification is by incorporating it into the workplace. It can be an asset because it can provide employees with further work-related knowledge. This could be in regards to policies, standards, performance expectations, and so forth. Gamification makes learning about these various things actually fun and engaging, which in turn produces more educated and well-versed employees.”
“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are”
Perception is a major and old area of study in the field of Psychology. Perception is how we organize, understand and interpret the world around us: what we see, what we hear, what we feel, what we smell, and what we taste. Dependent upon the business you are in, all five senses may play a role or perhaps just one or two. There is the belief that perception alters and may distort our vision of reality, perhaps masking the truth. If people come to a situation with a preconceived notion of what should be, they might tend to see what they expect, not what is there. So, we tend to bring to a given situation an inherent bias that may color the reality. The point of note here is that in viewing a business situation you need to see what is there, not what you expect to be there based upon previous experience, training, or expectations. That may be difficult to do.
Without a doubt, perception is a complex phenomenon influenced by personal values and/or beliefs, experience, attitude, education and training. An individual’s level of perception also may have some hereditary basis. Perception operates in all aspects of our life: our personal life; our social life; and, most certainly, our business life.
Specifically, what role is played by perception in business? If one accepts and understands that developing a vision, or predicting where a market will develop, or identifying major trends that impact the basic fabric of society, or determining how best to take advantage of an opportunity, is an essential part of running any business, then you accept perception as a basic ingredient in those processes. Sometimes, that hunch or gut feeling one gets is a form of perception. Remember that perception is how we see things and how we arrange and interpret those things to come to a conclusion or to make a decision. Consequently, perception is a principal ingredient in the management of a business and it can be a powerful tool in business, if properly recognized and applied.
A new wave of business leaders are doing much to change their perceptions, particularly in the tech industry, which is leading the drive for a more positive future for the human race. At Skylab, CEO&Founder Dean Grey is known in the network marketing industry as one of the most inspirational and charismatic keynote speakers and his perception relies on the idea to help others: “It’s a Reward Within Itself”.
Perception in business is a reality. It is an essential part of one’s package of business skills. It is a core competency. To deny these statements is to deny a basic attribute of entrepreneurship, leadership and decision-making. Perception is basic and integral to how we see and assess opportunities and how we will pursue opportunities. It is how we view our business environment and the elements that make up that environment both internal (staff, resources, equipment, services, products) and external (the market, the customer/client, the competition); and, it is much more. It is also the identification and understanding of major trends, especially long-term trends, that affect the basic structure of society (aging population, empty-nesters, women returning en masse to the workforce, decline in manufacturing jobs and the increase in service sector jobs, global economics, growth in the health care industry, information technology and the trend to inter-company collaboration).
Peter Drucker, business management sage of the 20th Century, considered perception the skill essential to making bold, creative decisions. In Managing in a Time of Great Change, he said :
“Today, perceptiveness is more important than analysis. In the new society of organizations, you need to be able to recognize patterns to see what is there rather than what you expect to see.”
Therein lays the key benefit to applying or invoking the right perception. There also is the core problem. We need to see what is there, not what we expect to see. How do we do that? Here are a few suggestions.
Eliminating the ego in decision-making is the major component. The ego is personal baggage based on previous knowledge, previous experience and expectations. It may not be all bad, but, then again, it may. It colors one’s view and may even distort the image that you ought to be seeing. Clearing one’s mind and taking, as much as possible, an open and simple view of the business environment, to see it as it is and not as one wants it to be is the objective. The results of eliminating ego, hopefully, are a fresh view and through that fresh view the identification of new business opportunities.
Related to eliminating ego is this: assume nothing. Assumptions must fit reality. That means having a good grasp on your business environment: the existing situation, the opportunities for growth, what the competition is doing what the client wants (always a moving target), to mention a few. So, assume nothing; get the facts; check and re-check and check again.
Acquire a clear and working knowledge of those long-term trends we spoke of in Part One of this Article. These are the trends or shifts in society, existing and emerging, which change the basic structure of society, including the business sector. These long-term trends significantly affect the business decisions we take, or ought to take.
Perception has always been an important part of the business management decision-making process and will always remain so. Perception, appropriately understood and applied, is a key business skill and is the leading edge in recognizing and developing business opportunities.
“This gives us the opportunity to change our environment and thus, change ourselves for the better.”
To learn more about the environments’ shaping towards success, follow this link
Very rarely do we see one individual that is able to embody all three personalities. The ones who do, you already know there names. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates to name a few. There is a common thread among all three of these unique individuals. The ability to be an artist, activist and intellectual is not something that comes naturally. In fact creativity and critical thinking in the terms of economics come from two very different sides of the brain.
This day in age, creating a movement can happen fast because information travels with greater velocity every day. This idea of leveraging technology was something that Dean Grey, the CEO and Founder of Skylab Apps understood with crystal clear clarity. Like Zuckerberg and Jobs, Mr. Grey shares the unique ability to be an artist and intelectual who’s politics are driven by a moral code, not political correctives.
To create a movement, one must have vision, determination, chops and be a little bit crazy for believing you will be able to pull it off. When Dean founded Skylab Apps, it was about anchoring a decision for him, planting his flag, and then burning the ships so only path was forward. Getting to that decision would require the following steps:
I started to outgrow the community I was a part of. In order to move forward, I had to make the switch from entertaining and educating people around the world to equipping people around the world.
Erase the Labels
If you are not a trained musician but want to convey a message by composing a tune, don’t let the lack of a formal education stop you. Never let the question ‘Am I trained to do this?’ take root. Carve a path and walk through. This is the only way forward and create a movement
Success Tastes Sweet Only After Bitter Failure
Be mentally prepared to hear ‘No’ before you meet acceptance. Aim for rejection, it is not negative if something substantial comes out of it. Dean Grey himself had to endure failed attempts before he got to the summit. When you stop worrying about rejection, you put in your best effort.
Don’t Lose Focus on the Project’s Integrity
It is easier to fall off the wagon than getting on to it. Most people who come up with brilliant ideas after tasking initial success, lose focus on their goals and get off track. Persistence is the key. Have a small team in place whose responsibility is to assess the course of the project. Anytime they feel that the trajectory is misaligned, corrective steps can be implemented without losing time.
There Should Always Be a Scale For Measurement
Every action and idea must be scalable. When you find yourself thinking of the next big idea or about to create a movement, ask yourself “Will this be applicable to 500 people?” If the answer is no, alter the plan. If yes, improve it to fit a larger perspective.
Keep It Simple
An idea is great only when it is simplified. The more complicated it gets, the lesser acceptance it will receive. People tend to follow only those ideas which they can understand. Breaking down the idea into a simple concept also makes building an emotional connection easier.
During the inception of the idea it is pivotal to keep it centered on a core value. This core will decide if the project will go global or lose momentum.
Dean Grey is not a lone wolf on his path to creating a movement with Skylab Apps.
The Skylab CEO understood that in order to create a movement he needed to get the right people on the bus. Luckily, like attracts like, and Dean would devise the most incredible team of C-level execs, entrepreneurs and ambassadors that share the same vision that he had.
This team of Artists, Activists and Intellectuals are top performers in their space.
The Intellectuals: who’s former associations and employment history stem from globally recognised brands like the UFC, Fanduel, Walt Disney, Success Partners HITACHI and Nike consists of Mike Pine, Tony Chaplin, and Tony Cerqueira to name a few.
The Artists: A creative team of world renowned dancers athletes and entertainers that consists of 8-time goldmedalist Apolo Ohno, 5-Time world Dance Champion Jeremy Wong, Alex and Kyle McCarthy, and other uber talented folks
The Activists: Consisting of some rebel entrepreneurs who dared to think outside the box and chase their own dream of success. Some of
the players are Skylab CTO George Pslek, Digital marketing and sales masters Mike Filsaime along with Steve Wolf and the most cutting edge platform development and design team including Lauren Peters (formally Coca-Cola/ Wells Fargo) Bryan Farris (UC Berkley / Acumen Transit Hero) and Big Data with Sasha Treviso (Amobee).
This is how you create a movement.
For more information on how Skylab Apps is creating a digital movement, check out this link
Check out this TED Talks about how to start a movement.
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.