Behind the Scenes at Bluewolf: How We Do Gamification
Guest post by John Carton, Senior Client Advisor at Bluewolf
If you're like most technology professionals you've become familiar with the concept of gamification since it gained popularity a few years ago. You may have even been a participant in one of your organization’s programs. Maybe it was a positive experience — or maybe, like many attempts at gamifying user behavior, it was hard to see the tangible benefit to you and the general user population.
It wasn’t until this past weekend, when I found myself at the Happiest Place on Earth™, that I realized that the concepts of gamification has been driving user behavior long before the buzzword was created. As Bluewolf’s resident Floridian and father of two young children, I find myself spending many weekends at Disney World. Before exploring the world at Epcot, we were given a paper bear-shaped fan and encouraged to “stamp” our “passport” along the way. It wasn’t until the second or third stop that I realized that this was part of the game — and I wanted to win. I was determined to receive every possible stamp on my trip around the world. The plan worked, because I made sure to spend time in each country, sampling the “local” food and beverages, and putting money in Walt’s pocket all along the way.
At Bluewolf, we’ve long been a champion of gamification as a method of increasing employee adoption and engagement. We’ve developed our own gamification program, called PRIME, to drive user behavior internally. We award points for large wins, like closing a deal or speaking at a conference, and smaller victories, like writing a blog post (10 points!) or sharing Bluewolf messaging on social media. As an end user, I wanted to give some insight from “behind the scenes” at Bluewolf and share how gamification is affecting my daily activities. Hopefully, this will help your organization better strategize your gamification program and plan for great results.
Feedback. Bluewolf’s business is a social and collaborative one, and we are strongly encouraged to share positive and constructive feedback with each other. By gamifying the process of giving feedback, I am more likely to give formal feedback to another user inside of our HR platform instead of just sharing it more casually. This helps the organization capture employee feedback, which helps in coaching and training employees, and in the review process. This impacts the business’s bottom line as well — the more constructive the feedback, the better your employees will become.
Badges. Positive recognition is the lifeblood of any organization. At Bluewolf, we’ve always been eager to give a big thank you to those who step in and help deliver amazing customer moments. Now with PRIME, we are encouraged to deliver that same recognition via badges in Chatter. Recognizing exceptional Pack members in a public forum helps end users build their brands internally, and serves as an easy way for other employees to find subject matter experts.
Small changes reap big rewards. As proof that our PRIME program has become part of Bluewolf employees’ day-to-day, I now seek out opportunities to earn points wherever I can. From the everyday tasks, like adding contact roles to an opportunity, to the more involved, like sharing an amazing customer story on our monthly company-wide All Hands Call, I’m always looking for ways to go above and beyond in my day-to-day tasks, driven by the thrill of a job well done — and more points.
What you can do now
As you look to build your organization's strategy around gamification, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
What activities/actions do you want to drive out of your employees? Without a clear goal, gamification won’t benefit your employees or yield results.
How will the results of these actions make my company a better place to work? Employee satisfaction is key to a successful organization, but gamification should also promote business outcomes like efficiency, productivity, cleaner data, customer satisfaction, etc.
What rewards and benefits do your employees value? Make sure you’re in tune with what your employees perceive as valuable — a fleece may inspire some, while a credit to a coding class may work better for others.
Finally: Have some fun!
To learn more about how a gamification strategy can drive change within your organization, register for the webcast: 4 Pro Tips for Gamification Success on Thursday, June 23 at 10AM PDT / 1PM EDT.