Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling.
The Skylab Apps platform has been built operating under the Social Learning theory that has often been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation.
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.”
Unconsciously, the key points below are enhanced in the user’s behavior through Gamification:
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.
At Skylab, Social Learning & Gamification are the Core Drive. They permit to empower the followings:
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.
NIELSEN’S 1-9-90 RULE
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.
AMPLIFY THE LEARNING PROCESS
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.
SECURITY & PROTECTION
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:
giving users ownership of their learning
opportunities for identity work through taking on alternate selves
freedom to fail and try again without negative repercussions
chances to increase fun and joy
opportunities for differentiated instruction
making learning visible
providing a manageable set of subtasks and tasks
inspiring students to discover intrinsic motivators for learning
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:
Here at Skylab we want to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter).
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.
V – VISION : Communicate and understand the scope and nature of the task or project. (Use ‘Active Listening’ skills)
E – EXPECTATION : Understand the timelines that your team lead is expecting this task to be done, and any required support/resources. (What will be delivered when)
A – ADJUSTMENT : If there is anything that effects the vision, expectation, or timeline while you are completing your task you will need to notify your team leader or teammates affected by this ASAP
C – CLOSE THE LOOP : When you feel the task is complete you must get a sign off from your team lead, and inform the other teammates involved with this accomplishment. (NOTE: Communication is not considered communicated until you have verbal or written acknowledgement or response. We operate in a fast paced situation emails, text or slack messages that are not responded to DO NOT COUNT as communication)
Here are 21 tips to get you to your best productivity from a leader in the self development world, Robin Sharma :
Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.
Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.
Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.
Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”
Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).
Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion.
Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
Don’t do so many meetings. Having the few meetings you now do standing up – and it’s created breakthrough results.
Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.
“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.”
Outsource everything you can’t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”.
Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice).
Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.
Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics. Here’s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.
Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.
Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel.
Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.
Use your commute time. If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym’s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you’ll save so many of them.
Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.
Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
I truly hope these 21 productivity tips have been valuable to you. And that I’ve been of service. Your productivity is your life made visible. Please protect it.
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.
Here are a few coping mechanism and 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things) from Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek
Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.
Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
For each item, ask yourself:
“If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
“Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
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.”
Here are five key elements of what workforce gamification really is:
1. Real-Time Performance Management
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.
2. Objective and Fair
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.
3. Performance Measurement is Transparent
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.
4. Drive the Right Things: Behaviour
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.
5. Gamification Isn’t a Game
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.
*Gamification Definition: applying the science and psychology of gaming in a non-game context to motivate and reward your customers to perform certain desired behaviors. It is one of the most proven ways to engage online community members and keep them coming back for more.
Gamification is a buzzword in the business community and a process that is becoming more widely adopted in consumer products and work culture which helps to “spread, solidify, and clarify”. It has also raised important ethical dilemmas: How is this good for us? Are we manipulating people to do things that aren’t in their interest? The video below is a Tedx talk given by Janaki Kumar, who is a Gamification expert and the co-author of Gamification at Work. Janaki addresses the ethical questions above, and explains why making Gamification ethical also makes it more effective.
The bottom line is that Gamification works better when application designers provide more value for those “playing” their Gamified applications. It’s difficult to simply manipulate people using Gamificaiton for two simple reasons:
People want things that are good for them, and they’re smart. They don’t want to do things that are bad for them and are quick to sniff out when they’re acting for someone else’s benefit.
People want valuable rewards. Users won’t complete actions unless the person rewarding them for taking that action is attentive and offering them something valuable.
Skylab’s Gamified solutions allow community leaders and users to set their own value criteria using game architecture. The result is a more interactive and responsive relationship between community members and community leaders where both produce more value for each other.
“Gamification is design that places the most emphasis on the human in the process. In essence it is Human-Focused Design.”