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.
The number of mobile platform users today is greater than the number of desktop users!
Consequently, businesses have realized the need to effectively use mobile channels platform for attracting customers. They have started new operations (or scaled existing ones) through mobile websites and mobile apps.
“Mobile devices have already ingrained themselves into our daily lives and business are realizing that this is something that can work to their advantage.”
While businesses with large wallets can afford to employ both mobile websites and apps platform, other companies might have to choose one of them. The choice between mobile apps and websites depends on their cost, usability, required features and the audience they serve.
That being said, studies show that users prefer mobile apps platform more than mobile websites. This makes for a strong reason to have mobile apps for reaching out to potential (and existing) customers.
In addition, there are various other reasons, too, that make mobile apps better than mobile websites platform.
#1 Mobile Apps Offer Better Personalization
Personalization is about offering tailored communication – Smart Chat – to users based on their PIIP (Proximity, Identity, Interest and Performance)
“Personalization is critical in making a mobile User Experience delightful”
With mobile apps, it’s easy to treat users with a personalized experience.
Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences at the start, based on which users can be served with customized content. Apps can also track and observe user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to the users. Furthermore, they can also identify location of the users in real-time to provide geography-specific content.
However, improving user experience is not the only purpose that personalization serves. It can also help improve conversion rate of apps:
When users are pampered with personalized content, they have a higher chance of making a conversion.
At Skylab, visuals and layouts are customizable, but the underlying structure is stable & standard. This creates total control for the client – flexibility within a proven and tested framework.
This is a massively-disruptive model
#2 Ease of Sending Notifications
For the last couple of decades, email has been the most widely-used business communication tool. Businesses have extensively used email (some almost abused it) to reach out to their users. As a result, email has lost the effectiveness it once had; its open rates and click rates have constantly dropped.Well, there’s no reason to worry.
The notifications are of two types: push and in-app notifications. They both are exciting alternatives for communicating with app users in a less intrusive manner.
The ability to send instant, non-intrusive notifications to users is so desired that it is one of the major reasons why many businesses want to have a mobile app in the first place.
In-app notifications are the notifications which users can only receive when they have opened an app.
Push notifications, on the other hand, are those notifications which users can receive regardless of any activity they are doing on their mobile device. There have been instances where the push medium of notifications has delivered click-through rates of 40%.
At Skylab, we’ve got the full suite: outside the app, inside the app, and a master control center.
Notifications are the primary way users get information about activity in their apps.
#3 Making Use of Mobile Device Features
Mobile apps have the advantage of utilising features of a mobile device like camera, contact list, GPS, phone calls, accelerometer, compass, etc.
Such device features, when used within an app, can make the user experience interactive and fun.
Moreover, these features can also reduce the efforts users would have to make otherwise. For instance, users completing a form on a banking app might need to submit their photograph for completion of the process. The app can let users take help of the camera of their mobile device to capture and submit a photograph.
“Apps can utilize native features of mobile devices to enhance User Experience.”
The device features can significantly shorten the time users take to perform a certain task in an app, and can even boost conversions.
Add-on: Mobile websites platform can also use some features of a mobile device like camera, GPS, etc. Still, there are technological constraints in utilizing all the multimedia features of a device (which mobile apps can use).
Skylab has worked in the development of BlowBunny app. We use the native features which had been shown above to create Voting Contest. It’s one of the Gamificationadd-on features that Skylab can provide.
You can see the most recent posts and -following customizable tabs- the Leaderboard with the actual ranking, your own posts and the winners from the past weeks.
This fun contest renews every so often – admin choose the timeframe – and the winner earns a reward!
Customize the How to Win screen to display the contest info and reward
#4 Ability to Work Offline
It is probably the most fundamental difference between a mobile website and an app.
Although apps too might require internet connectivity to perform most of their tasks, they can still offer basic content and functionality to users in offline mode.
“The beauty of mobile apps lies in their ability to work even in offline mode.”
Let’s take the example of banking app again.
The app can provide features like tax calculation, instalment calculation, and determination of loan limit. These features can work even without the help of an internet connection.
Add-on: Even though mobile websites platform can use caching to load web pages without an internet connection, they can only offer limited functions.
#5 Freedom in Designing
Even with all the technological advancements in web designing, mobile websites have to rely a lot on browsers to perform even the most elementary functions. Mobile websites depend on browser features like ‘back button,’ ‘refresh button,’ and ‘address bar’ to work.
Mobile Apps don’t have any of these restrictions.
A mobile app can be designed with a lot of elaborate functions, based on advanced gestures like ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and more.
Apps can use these gestures to offer innovative functionality that can help users perform a task better. For example, an app can let users move to a next or previous step using the swipe gesture.
Skylab gives you the ability to modify colors/branding + actions + bottom/side menu navigation.
#6 New Branding Experience
Since a mobile app is distinct from a company’s website, it has the liberty of offering a new branding experience to users. It means that the company can experiment with new branding styles for the app, which can be different from the regular brand style of the company’s website (or the company altogether).
Going a step further, companies can build mobile apps specifically to transition into a new brand style for themselves.
“Mobile apps can be used to create a distinguished brand for your product/service.”
Additionally, a mobile app can also allow users to customize its appearance, as per users’ liking. This can further help in the personalization front of the app.
Add-on: The concept of microsites work on similar lines. Microsites offer a distinct brand experience to users, as compared to their parent sites. They are often used to promote a sub-brand, an event, or a newly-launched service.
Skylab can implant a social media page and any website directly into the app. This enhances User Experience.
On this screenshot of the Allysian app, the Action-Buttons can be set in a different way and the different tabs at the bottom of the app as well
Allysian Science is One of the Skylab’s Clients. Its mission is to maximize human potential through advanced science and education, enabling people to become the best at whatever they choose to be.
Skylab provides to the Admin a wide Platform Settings Control as seen in the previous point. Admin can optimize and change the display as they wish.
Different courses and lessons about Allysian
The Brand story, aspirations, clients & partners, testimonies and others branding experience can be available with great refine design and layout on the app. New users can easily access to those in the Training tab. Each lesson give credit to the reader by just indicate that it has been completed. Each completed lesson will be displayed on the Recognition Wall where every users can like, comment and access to.
#7 Users Spend More Time on Apps
Mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and just 14% of the time on mobile websites.
“In today’s market, in order to be a successful company it is essential to go mobile”
Moreover, the average time users spend on mobile apps is also increasing — rising by 21% in 2015 from 2014.
Note: A point to consider here is that users spend a majority of their time on gaming apps and social media apps. Skylab has merged both of them to create a Gamified Social Media.
However, we also don’t have data telling us which mobile websites users visit more often (out of the 14% of their time mentioned above). Hence, it’s not possible to make a comparison.
#8 New Stream of Conversions
If you’re looking to increase conversions, mobile apps platform can be a great medium to push users down the conversion funnel.
Mobile apps can be used to acquire both top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) and bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) users.
For instance, utility apps can bring-in ToFu users, which can be later nurtured into BoFu leads. On the other hand, apps like eCommerce already have BOTF users, who have a higher possibility of converting.
Add-on: Since mobile apps are much more targeted in nature (through their content and utility), they can be used to tap specific users in the funnel. Mobile websites, in contrast, reach out to a diverse set of audience.
With Skylab, you already have a community of BoFu and ToFu. Those Users will jump on your app when it will be launched ! Companies focus on capturing new customers, but successful brands knows the importance of retaining & rewarding existing customers.
If your user base does not feel a compulsive need to check your app multiple times a day, you are unable to compete. We leverage this need for frequent engagement, exploration, and unpredictability.
#9 Brand Presence
Users spend a substantial amount of their time on mobile devices. It’s safe to say that many of the users encounter the apps they’ve installed on their devices, almost every day. This regular encounter can be viewed as a branding opportunity for the apps. For the record, a study shows that U.S consumers spend 5 hours on their mobile each day !
Even when users are not actively using a mobile app, they are still reminded of the brand associated with the app. The icon of the app acts like a mini-advertisement for the brand.
“Mobile app icons can work like innovative ad-banners.”
The Allysian Logo is its Brand’s Identity
The presence of an app on a user’s device helps influence user’s perception about a brand, subconsciously.
All of these Apps’ Logos become their own Brand Presence
This user behaviour can be linked to the Signal Detection Theory, which suggests that users process even those ads which they’ve ignored at some level in their minds.
With Skylab platform, we have implanted a GamificationEngine with gamified features to add value on what is already on the mobile market. This increases the companies’ value.
#10 Apps Can Work Faster Than Websites
A well-designed mobile app can perform actions much quicker than a mobile website.
Apps usually store their data locally on mobile devices, in contrast to websites that generally use web servers. For this reason, data retrieval happens swiftly in mobile apps.
Apps can further save users’ time by storing their preferences, and using them to take proactive actions on users’ behalf.
There is also a technical justification as to why mobile apps can work faster.
“So, mobile websites are technically slower than mobile apps!”
While all this is happening in the background, users get to complete actions quicker on the front-end of mobile apps, again contributing to a delightful user experience.
Mobile App v/s Mobile Site — What Should You Choose?
Developing both mobile website and mobile app for your business can prove to be a costly affair. You might have to choose one of the two channels, based on your budget and business goals. While both channels have their own pros and cons, mobile apps, especially, can help you get higher conversions. Mobile apps offer greater personalization and operational efficiency, along with multiple other exclusive features.
At Skylab apps, we provide Mobile & App platform according to the client’s needs. We also bring an essential interest to the native features and add-on features which mobile platform can provide and support (Smart Chat, Notifications, Smart Tags…). Skylab has truly understood and incorporated all of these points we’ve just gone through.
“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.
Recognize where you’re starting.
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.
Say what you mean.
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.”
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.
Becoming a great leader isn’t easy. It’s especially challenging when you’re running a company that’s predicated on teaching others how to lead. As Karl Allen shows, opening up about your mistakes and the learning process along the way is part of what it takes to truly succeed. You win or you learn !
Every aspect of us is affected by our environments and our environments reflect every aspect of us. Each of the 9 Environments of You are connected…they touch each other and are woven together.
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.”
Understanding the 9 Environments and how they work in your daily life will give you a clear understanding of how each elements plays and incredibly important role in your life short and long term.
The Physical Environment: Skylab HQ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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