My recent blogs on the concept of a Gamification Score as a more accurate measure for employee evaluation Part I and Part II have stirred some controversy. The disbelief came from the fear that people are not going to be measured properly or extensively enough, considering all dimensions of an individual. Of course this is a criticism that is valid and that is true for every score (of which I have mentioned many in the two blogs).
But fact is that the situation today in evaluating employee performance is even worse: there is no objective data available. Any data that can help is better than nothing. And while we claim in the corporate world for being rational beings and do what's good for business, we actually don't. We may be getting some facts right on the business and measuring many things with some success, but measuring employees is one of the dark spots. We may live in the illusion that we do, and we may even spend billions of dollars on measures, but most of them are inherently inaccurate. That's a design-flaw from the beginning.
This is why a gamification score is so interesting for every manager and HR department. There is the data; timely, precise, detailed, on the skills.
A great example of such a score comes from the SAP Community Network (SCN), where every month 2 million professionals engage, blog, and help each other, and in return are rewarded with points and badges. The SCN points and the status are indications of the members skills and professionalism, as Carter Lusher from the analyst group Ovum describes in his latest Case Study: Gamification at SAP Community Network:
One of the unexpected outcomes, and proof point on the impact of gamification, is how some members have used their SCN status (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) as part of their professional credentials. The crowd-sourced aspect of the quality assessment (members awarding points based on their assessment of usefulness by rating and liking content) gives SCN status validity. What is interesting is that SCN status is not only useful for SAP and within the community, but also other organizations. Employers looking to hire IT professionals with SAP product expertise are asking “what is your SCN status?” Therefore SCN members, whether IT professionals or third-party consultants, are now adding their SCN status to resumes, LinkedIn profiles, brochures, and other documents. This is a powerful validation of the points and levels gamification.
Another unexpected outcome is that the point system also helped SAP to quickly identify collaborative and engaged thought leaders and technical experts outside and inside SAP. This gives SAP the ability to tap these individuals for their insights and advice as well as invite them to participate in programs such as SAP Mentors or to Sbe recognized as a Member of the Month.
I spoke to SAP professionals as well, and they confirmed that already years ago. The manager of a big German company told me that whenever he gets résumés from job applicants in the IT space, those listing SCN points on their CV are the ones that he is inviting first. Because knowing their SCN status, he can double check their contributions and evaluate the quality of the work right there.
Don't be surprised, if we'll see soon on LinkedIn and job-platforms additional fields that ask you to link to your scores from a variety of platforms. For SAP professionals, a gamification-based skill score is already reality today. Just check out my SCN Score to see a real life example.