|Part 1: Rethinking engagement and achievement inside the enterprise|
|Tuesday, 10 July 2012 18:19|
We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in the nascent history of enterprise gamification. On the heels of driving user engagement in customer-facing web applications, systems like Badgeville and Bunchball are now turning inside the enterprise, applying their motivational approach to enterprise social networks like Yammer and inserting an award layer on established enterprise CRM, sales and HR applications. For the most part, these solutions retain their marketing roots, where the defining metric is engagement.
At heart, the customer of the first wave of gamification has been VP Marketing. Marketing concerns include page impressions, engagement and goal funnels -- not only increasing them, but measuring them. Gamification providers are seeking to woo new customers inside the enterprise, most notably product, sales and HR departments. But in our dialog with these new customers they voice common concerns when faced with adopting game-based motivation platforms.
The cornerstone of this mismatch between existing gamification systems and enterprise applications is the emphasis on engagement. A 2009 SHRM study ranked meaningful achievements and recognition for them second only to financial compensation in factors contributing to job satisfaction. Yet engagement systems weaken both. Real achievements are undermined by the ease of cheating and ease of winning. Engagement systems need to feed a steady diet of rewards to keep you involved. Real achievements are rare and deeply meaningful. And recognition is diluted when everyone knows the achievements aren't real, or that your win is my loss in a dog-eat-dog cage fight.
We’ve discovered something truly magical in our industry -- the intrinsic joy of effort and accomplishment that comes from our common gaming roots, yet gamification systems have strayed too close to rote stimulus/response mechanisms that prey upon our lowest natures. As we make the transition into the workplace, it’s time for a gut check. Is there a way for gamification systems to support and invoke our intrinsic joy of accomplishment and reward creativity, teamwork and your unique talents without poisoning the well in the process? Taken largely from the recommendations of Dan Pink’s Motivation 3.0, my next post will present a possible framework for win/win gamification. Stay tuned.
Alden Gannon has 20 years experience leading IT teams and is the CEO of Six Fish, LLC, provider of PropsToYou, a gamified project management app based on modern behavioral science.