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Three Ways Gamification Can Help You Get the Most from Your Social Collaboration Platform

Three Ways Gamification Can Help You Get the Most from Your Social Collaboration Platform

Erika Blaney

06/04/2014

Erika Blaney, Vice President, Marketing
@ErikaBlaney‎

When communities work together towards a common goal, the results can be amazing –as we have seen in social movements throughout history or in global responses to major natural disasters. Even smaller local initiatives, like cleaning up trash on Earth Day, can have a significant positive impact.

So, why does collaboration in the workplace remain such an untapped resource?

All too often employees and partners half-heartedly carry out their tasks in isolation, while customers are left standing on the perimeter with their input lost to the wind.

Over the past decade or so, many companies have implemented social collaboration platforms to help nurture teamwork and cooperation. But harnessing the power of these networks isn’t always easy. As this popular quote reminds us, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” Unless everyone regularly gets involved, the orchestra on the social platform falls silent, and the members left whistling on their own wander back to their silos…no symphony, no innovation, no improved performance.

At Bunchball, we know gamification can turn all that around. How? Because gamification applies big data analytics and the same data-driven techniques used by game designers to motivate employee actions in critical business scenarios. It rewards commitment with recognition and visibility within the community – and that, in turn increases employee satisfaction and retention. More specifically, when you integrate gamification into your social collaboration platform you can:

  1. Use big data analytics to effectively align social collaboration with business goals. Is your current social collaboration strategy actually helping you to actualize your mission? Remember: People engage with initiatives they see as relevant, and gamification provides data that identifies ways to create participant buy-in specifically tailored to your company’s needs. Gamification allows you to seamlessly integrate your social platform into daily workflow and provide levels, points and leaderboards to increase relevancy and visibility among peers. As a result, high-quality engagement is sustained over time and business performance improves.
     
  2. Reward creativity and behaviors that have the most impact on your business value. Most people are creatures of habit who tend to gravitate towards the familiar – even if it’s not necessarily effective. What’s more, short-term reward systems inspire only short-term changes and tend to break down over time, as employees go through the motions to get the ”prize,” but then lose interest. If you want to truly change behaviors in ways that lead to innovation and improved performance, you’ll need to you identify the optimal motivation techniques for your community and social platform. Then, by leveraging 1) fundamental design principles, 2) big data analytics and 3) the latest research about universal human motivators, gamification can encourage lurkers to become regular participants who truly contribute and influence. Groups and competitions promote positive team interactions, and member visibility showcases achievement and expertise.
     
  3. Increase formal and informal learning and connections between individuals with expertise. When achievements, skills and knowledge are validated within the community, members will ask more questions, contribute more to problem-solving and share fresh ideas in ways that cultivate cross-functional collaboration. Gamification helps connect the enterprise both internally and externally and create an environment that’s rich with knowledge-sharing and innovation.  

As I see it, gamification is the optimal tool to help you get the most from your social collaboration platform. It helps ensure rapid onboarding and ongoing engagement by motivating employees, partners and customers to participate in meaningful ways.

Case study: Learn how gamification accelerated collaboration adoption at SAP.

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