Gamification news, tactics, case studies and more. The official blog of Bunchball.
Training and Learning are the yin and yang of employee engagement. Training is generally regarded as a formal, top-down activity designed to build understanding, proper practices and even compliance. It tends to be a purpose built to teach specific content set by HR or another department or group. Learning, by contrast, is multi-dimensional and driven by the individual. People can certainly learn while they’re being trained, but they can also learn in informal, less structured ways. Regardless of how you slice it, both training and learning represent an enormous challenge for today’s business managers. Why?
Reading Don’t Think About the Chips, a recent blog post by Hongyu Chen, reminded me how people frequently confuse gamification with “reward-based” incentives. Like Chen, I’m well aware of the popular misconception that tangible rewards can be terrific motivators. “Get a free cup of coffee after your tenth visit.” “Top salesperson of the month will win this plasma TV!” Etc. Etc.
The term employee engagement is used to describe the participation and commitment level of workers. When employees are truly engaged, they perform to the best of their abilities, do what's optimal for the company and resist competitive employment offers. Simply put, engaged employees are loyal – and as a result, they can drive meaningful increases in productivity, profitability and product quality, as well as meaningful decreases in absenteeism, turnover and shrinkage.
Since employee engagement can have such significant business impacts, it's no surprise that managers want to keep their workforce engaged. But that's easier said than done. In fact, a global study by Gallup1 found that a mere 13% of employees are engaged at work! Of the remaining 87%, more than half (63%) are not engaged, and 24% are actively disengaged.
I know from first-hand experience how challenging it can be to motivate employees to engage with training and learning programs. Two years ago, Nationwide had a strong virtual learning program that included live courses, videos and quizzes, but regular attendance was lower than we liked, and it seemed like engagement was dipping, too.
Call Center Week 2015 is right around the corner, June 15-19, in Las Vegas, so today, I'm putting the finishing touches on my presentation, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, at 11:15 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. in Workshop J. I'll be talking about how companies are using gamification to engage, influence and motivate their call center agents. My goal is to help conference attendees truly appreciate the potential of gamification, better understand exactly what it is and why it's so powerful and then take the first steps in planning their gamification strategy, including communicating internally.
This month, we tried a new approach with our Bunchball gamification webinar series. Usually, we select a topic, prepare the presentation, and then invite people to register and attend. This time, we let you, the attendees, determine how we should focus the conversation. We called the webinar, "Your Top Gamification Questions ANSWERED," and when folks registered for it, we asked them to submit questions for consideration.
People often ask me what gamification looks like, and then they're a bit surprised when I say that, if done right, gamification doesn't look like anything in particular—because it's so well designed and embedded in your systems that you don't even notice it.
When you're intrinsically motivated to accomplish something, you have an internal desire to achieve it; you'll initiate the activity for its own sake, because it's interesting and satisfying in itself. Intrinsic motivation stands in direct contrast to extrinsic motivation, which happens when some external force (like a boss), influences, motivates or requires you to do something.
If you're starting to plan for a gamification project, it's only natural that you have questions — lots and lots of questions. For example, since Bunchball solutions are built to last for the long-term (in contrast to other "quick fix" applications), many of you may be wondering, "Exactly how many people will we need to keep our gamification platform running effectively?"
Some people think an effective gamification project requires lots of resources—in the form of money, time and manpower. Others think success comes from luck or that elusive "special sauce." But none of that is true. Effective gamification doesn't have to be resource-intensive. And because it's data-driven, there's very little luck (or secret anything) involved.