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Four social gamification ideas for your enterprise

Written by
Siddesh Bhobe
May 7, 2013

Social Gamification Can Boost Productivity

As more and more enterprises wake up to the potential of gamification in employee engagement, there is also an increasing realization that the applications for social gamification go far beyond kudos, points and badges. For example, at Persistent Systems, a 7000+ employee IT company based in India, social gamification has been used as a delivery mechanism for a wide variety of employee-centric applications that increase employee bonding, productivity, and have a direct impact on health and wellness.

In this article, we discuss four social gamification ideas that can have a direct, positive impact in your organization.

  1. Make A Wish
  2. Consider a simple app that allows employees to publish their wishes on the company portal, and gives an opportunity to other colleagues to grant them! The app appeals to our inherent altruistic instincts and gives employees an opportunity to do something special for their colleagues, maybe even anonymously!

    In addition to accommodating simple wishes like craving for chocolates and cakes, the application can also give HR a unique peek into what's really troubling employees - from job change requests, to wishing someone would just lend them an ear, employees can use this as a platform to really reach out to their colleagues in a way that's both simple, supportive and very effective!

  3. Promote Group Physical Activity
  4. Social gamification can play a big role in encouraging and enabling employees to set challenges and goals for themselves around key fitness objectives like giving up smoking, going to the gym, and cutting down on caffeine. "Players" can quickly update their social network each time they perform an activity in line with their goals, and their gamification engine can track the progress, and prod the players towards the end goal.

    More interestingly, the engine could also notify the player's "health buddies" when they seem to be slacking up, thus providing a powerful social support angle to the player. While recognition and rewards always help, this is an excellent example of using social pressure and oversight in helping one achieve inherently difficult and unexciting milestones.

  5. Rally Behind Common and Clear Goals
  6. One of the biggest reasons for employee disengagement is a lack of connect with the company's goals and vision. A simple social app that gives employees a visual connection with their company goals, the team goals and their own, can make all the difference. When you can see where your own goals and KPIs derive from, and how you and your colleagues are working towards a common future, there is an easy connect and value for the work you do!

    The challenge here is to recognize that it is not always about breaking down numbers - which many organizations mistakenly focus on. Financial targets are necessary, but rallying employees around other common causes, including innovation, quality, customer satisfaction and learning can be the real deal. For example, a team working on an innovative product will realize that they may not be contributing to the revenue goal this year, but play a very critical role in the goal of the company to be recognized as a thought leader in that domain. Imagine what a difference it can make to the morale of the team members.

  7. Remember the Good Moments
  8. For today's generation, hooked to the Facebook timeline, a must-have social app is one that can help document an employee's professional journey. In addition to logging successes and achievements, the application should also allow employees to publish their goals, celebrate progress and setbacks, and capture those golden moments that make life beautiful, providing inspiration and reference to other colleagues too! While a lot of the information can automatically flow into the app from the organization's appraisal and performance management tool, it is also necessary to allow employees to use the tool to capture their thoughts and feelings, as much as targets and data points.

    Points, leaderboards and badges provide an excellent platform for motivating employees through rewards and recognition, but organization need to look beyond them to really benefit from the promise of social gamification. A host of simple social gamification applications with the potential to bring about real change, without necessitating large investments in time and money, can be deployed as a great way to introduce organizations to the culture of efficiency and effectiveness through gamification.