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Many enterprise Gamification deployments emphasize competition and leaderboards. Yet sometimes giving employees a sense of completion works better.
I recently overheard an interesting conversation between two friends who are triathletes. One of them was very excited about an upcoming race: he’s in better shape than last year, he said, he’s hoping to get to one of the top three results for his age bracket. The other friend, who has just begun training a year ago, on doctor’s orders (he was in bad shape before that) said “I’m into completion. Not competition”.
As a gamification designer, this struck me as conveying a much ignored insight about motivating employees. Not everyone wants to be at the top of the leaderboard – that doesn’t mean they are losers or lazy – for these people it’s also about the journey. Sometimes, as we all know, poorly designed leaderboards can even be de-motivating and ignore the real growth and attempts made by the non-top-performers who are nevertheless performing exceptionally well. Companies should take that into account. Motivating with leaderboards alone, focusing on fostering competition doesn’t work for everyone and shouldn’t. Strive to give your people a sense of completion.
A sense of completion is the satisfaction you usually experience when a job is well done. Clean dishes. A 10 K run. A well-mowed lawn. An organized office. From a gamification point of view, completion indicators are the game design elements that gives you the same feedback – you did well.
Roman Rackwitz, partner at Enterprise Gamification Consultancy, founder of EngagingLab, and top gamification guru, gave an interview about the Gamification Engaging Diamond, a systematic approach to develop and implement a Gamification strategy for processes, services, and products.
Listen to the audio-interview.
Disengaged employees are the silent killers at an organization. Engagement itself is difficult to define – let alone identify and measure – and as a result companies are paying the price. 87 percent of C-level executives believe that disengaged employees are one of the three biggest threats facing business. According to the Gallup organization, an estimated $300 billion is wasted by U.S. companies because of unmotivated, disengaged employees over a five-year period.
Even though we know there’s a problem, and that it’s expensive, we still have a difficult time identifying and explaining employee engagement. For starters, we can say that employee engagement is NOT just employee satisfaction. Having catered food, giving away free drinks, and shutting down the office on Fridays can make employees happy and satisfied with the company, but that doesn’t mean they’re engaged with their daily job functions.
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees are proud of their work, understand and believe in what the company is doing, and are committed to the company’s mission.
A definition is great, but it’s still necessary to determine how engagement is measured. The following are two prominent models for measuring engage, and can help determine whether you need to invest in employee engagement software, or whether your workplace is already focused.
Gamification is a novel method to improve engagement, motivation, or participation in non-game contexts using game mechanics. To a large extent, gamification is a psychological- and design-oriented discipline, i.e., a lot of effort has to be spent already in the design phase of a gamification project. Subsequently, the design is implemented in information systems such as portals or enterprise resource planning applications. These systems act as mediators to transport a gameful design to its users.
However, the efforts for the subsequent development and integration process are often underestimated. In fact, most conceptual gamification designs are never implemented due to the high development costs that arise from building the gamification solution from scratch, imprecise design or technical requirements, and communication conflicts between different stakeholders in the project.
This thesis addresses these problems by systematically defining the phases and stakeholders of the overall gamification process. Furthermore, the thesis rigorously defines the conceptual requirements of gamification based on a broad literature review. The identified conceptual requirements are mapped to a domain-specific language, called the Gamification Modeling Language. Moreover, this thesis analyzes 29 existing gamification solutions that aim to decrease the implementation efforts of gamification. However, using the different language elements, it is shown that none of the existing solutions suffices all requirements.