The concept of Play has been around a long time now in business. The idea being that people are more likely to think out of the box and be creative when “playing.” Teams designing new applications will typically play games to help facilitate requirements gathering and the design process. In this sense Gamification is not a new concept, however, what we are seeing now is some innovative ideas around Gamifying “business as usual” processes.
Whether we like it or not every business relies on structure built around processes. These processes are formed of rules that guide employees to the effective completion of tasks, and platforms such as SharePoint and Sitecore are great facilitators of establishing these processes. Whether it’s claiming expenses, moving an opportunity through the sales cycle or booking leave, each process has a set of steps with rules attached. If all employees follow the rules then the business stands a much greater chance of smooth and efficient operation, leaving staff as much time as possible to “do their job.”
The Game is afoot!
Businesses will quite commonly suffer from employees not following a process correctly or sometimes just not being aware that they even exist. A primary cause of this is that they lack the motivation to complete the process. They don’t want to ‘play the game’ as completing it does not benefit them. They do not see a financial reward, elevation in social status or any type of recognition for their success. From my own personal experience this is best observed through the one process that is most commonly slick and widely observed in any organization - the expenses process. The reason for the awareness of this process and the lack of failures in observing the rules and regulations in place is very simple – the outcome of completing the process properly delivers financial reward.
This is where Gamification can help organisations become more efficient and run more smoothly. Creating games with rewards out of as many processes as possible will naturally promote user process adoption. Rewards can be in the form of financial incentives, badges or social recognition but must be strong enough to motivate your staff effectively.
Of course, Gamification doesn’t have to be restricted to formal processes, it can be used to help teams achieve their objectives and encourage employees to participate in longer term initiatives – allowing them to create their strategy to win or complete the game. Essentially the point is to track and encourage the preferred behaviours of employees.
So there is nothing new under the sun - it’s a true statement. Organisations have been using incentives to motivate employees since business began, but what IS changing though are the tools available to facilitate this. The integration of SharePoint and Yammer allows us to offer employees social recognition for participation. This can be further extended to recognise employees for completing a workflow, populating their profile or assisting another employee. Other tools integrated with your Microsoft Stack allow you to combine behaviours, workflows and processes from multiple systems into a single recognition system.
Introducing Gamification to your organisation doesn’t have to be complicated, you can start by mapping a few simple processes to games - define the rules, the outcome and the reward for completing or winning. It’s surprisingly simple to combine Yammer, SharePoint and even other systems to provide social recognition for some basic behaviours – using your CRM system, keeping your profile up to date and lots of other possibilities.
This stuff excites us here at BrightStarr and we’d love to talk to you about how we can help you empower your staff to be more productive. Get in touch with one of our experts today.