Category Archives: Collective Gamification

How Games Can Influence Your Company’s Productivity

How to influence employee productivity

Games have an important evolutionary aspect

There’s a reason why trivia night has become so popular at bars. It’s the same reason why Words with Friends and Farmville are frequently downloaded games. But games are not just a waste of time. Hidden underneath these common games lies a deeper evolutionary aspect we are just uncovering.

Jane McGonigal, a researcher at The Institute for the Future and a professional game designer, predicts that in the 21st century solutions to problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict and obesity will be found in games, and that we need to be playing games more than we already do.

Really?

McGonigal says that the amount of combined time in years humans spend playing games can only be compared to how long it took the first human being to walk up right.

“It turns out that by spending all this time playing games, we’re actually changing what we are capable of as human beings.”

“Evoke”, a social network game designed to empower people to think creatively about critical problems, is changing behavior for the better. It combines graphic novel stories, the same way many video games do, and has unique missions directly tied into looming issues we face today. The result, people learn to survive major global disasters through gameplay.

Why would games be the most effective way to get people to face things like hunger or drought?

As of right now, people are using games to escape from everyday stresses that range from personal to global.

“We feel that we are not as good in reality as we are in games. And I don’t just mean successful, I also mean good as in motivated to do something that matters.”

Hopefully every employee that works for you is passionate about the mission your company is on, but it never hurts to add more incentives. Since many games are social by nature, they weave a tight social fabric.

Recognize, a social employee recognition platform, is an enterprise SaaS platform with gamification mechanics built in. It harnesses team-building through the reward system and uses ‘leveling-up’ the way one does in a game. Bosses and managers can implement recognition of completed tasks both big and small to reward employees for a job well done.

“There are lots of different characters who are willing to trust you with a world-saving mission, right away, whenever you show up in one of these games. And then gamers receive so much positive feedback that they feel they can achieve more in online worlds than they can in real life. What this feedback triggers is a sense of urgent optimism.”

Gamers are notoriously focused and on-task for so many hours that they lose themselves in these worlds, and by understanding why the game is so enthralling may lead to a more focused and committed workplace.

When tasks through Recognize are completed, it builds trust and a positive feedback loop within a team. That has a great affect on everyone involved and it gives employees a tangible sense of accomplishment that perhaps they would normally only feel in a game.

How to influence employee productivity

There is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’

How Games Saved a Civilization

McGonigal shares a story passed down to us by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus who says dice games were invented in the kingdom of Lydia during a sever famine. Tension amongst the people was high, so the king came up with a solution: They would only eat every other day. On the days they didn’t eat, they played dice games.

The people were so engaged in these games that they weren’t paying attention to the fact that they weren’t eating. They survived for 18 years like this.

The famine didn’t get any better after 18 years, so the king divided his kingdom in half and ordered one final game to be played. The winning half was sent on a journey, an epic mission if you will, to find a new land that could support the remaining half of their civilization.

How to influence employee productivity

Could this be the key to the Roman Civilization?

Scientists have since discovered that the Etruscans, the founders of the Roman Empire, share the same DNA as the ancient Lydians, suggesting that this story is true.

That means that one of the greatest civilizations in history was founded on games as a solution to what seemed like an immovable problem. Not a bad thing to model your own company after.

So, next time you catch Joe or Tina playing Farmville at work, why not give them a pat on the back and ask them if they want to play a game with you?

 

Sources:

http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world/transcript?language=en

www.urgentevoke.com

Introducing Employee Engagement Score

Cockpit

It is important to provide a metric that measures how focused a company is in recognition. It encourages companies to recognize more than the favorite outgoing employees, and to find new people to recognize. The result is more recognition across the organization.

Recognized employees in last seven days / Total employees = RES

The metric is intentionally designed at the organization level to encourage collectivism. Companies need visibility that the work they do benefits the company. Most Western companies focus on the individual performance, where RES helps focus at a higher level. When others are recognized, employees can instantly see the RES go up. Thus, workers know their contributions help the whole organization, collectively.

Four levels

The RES has four levels for engagement. They are simply separated by 0-25, 25-50, 50-75, and 75-100. Shown below is the color scheme.

RES

RES

RES

RES

Move past individualism for greater organizational success

Wayne Brockbank wrote on Harvard Business Review the necessity for HR to focus more on the organization rather than solely focusing on the individual. The Recognize team believes the same: a duality of both individualism and collectivism within the organization. Traditionally western companies focus on the individual and are blind to the benefits of collectivism. The following are ways Recognize employee recognition app showcases the organization.

Recognize promotes collectivism in two ways: Employee Engagement Score (RES) and teams functionality.

Recognition Engagement Score (RES)

The RES is the measure of how many employees are recognized in the past week compared to how many total employees are in the organization. It is a metric dedicated not to the individual performance, but to the organization. It shows the degree to which the organization is focused on recognition.

Recognition Engagement Score

Recognition Engagement Score

Team leaderboard

Recognize also encourages what we call collective gamification through the team leaderboard. Every recognition is tied to a point value in Recognize. At the end of each month the team with the most collective points is celebrated and the points reset for the next month. Teams now can work together to reach the most recognitions.

Team leaderboard

Team leaderboard

The Recognize team fully agrees with Wayne Brockbank cry for western organizations to begin thinking at the collective-level of the company to understand that the group is stronger than the sum of its individuals.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

― Aristotle

Employee recognition points redesigned for stronger employee engagement

Five_Points_-_George_Catlin_-_1827

Recognize Points are unlike any other recognition program. Our competitors have companies pay for points to be given out to staff. The status quo in employee recognition is to then have the staff get stuff with the points. With that comes red tape surrounding recognition. Furthermore, monetary rewards often hinder performance (1). We believe recognition should be light and fun. That means points should symbolize friendly competition between teams as well as show progression in positive events. Recognize stands out, because no other program provides this strategy.

Recognize Points give staff a chance to be the best every month

Recognize employee recognition platform engages staff by focusing on motivating beyond cash incentives. We learned from our customers that they were looking for a sense of journey, or a way to feel accomplishment each month. To help achieve this, we created the Recognize Points.

Profile

The stats page is focused on the user


The stats page will show the current user no matter where they are in the leaderboard. Users can focus on winning to the next spot. Now that points reset, staff members always have a chance to rise up.

Recognize continues to be the best at helping companies find ways to intrinsically motivate their workforce.

Footnote:
1. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation

Collective Gamification

Only 13% of the world’s workforce is engaged (1), leading to billions of dollars lost in potential productivity. To fix this, Dan Pink identified purpose as one of the three most important drivers towards engagement (2). Recognize has an innovative strategy to help staff feel they have purpose in the organization. We call this strategy Collective Gamification.

Earth

Increase levels together through Collective Gamification

Workers don’t realize their influence in companies, because they lack tools to visualize the difference they make. To provide insight, Recognize is building strategy to show workers their influence in the organization. Imagine a gauge that represents a company’s Recognition Engagement Score (RES), or how much recognition is engaging staff in an organization. When a worker sends a recognition, this gauge’s needle moves to the right- providing instant feedback to the user they are influencing the greater good. Another use of Collective Gamification is collective levels. When a user sends a recognition they influence the leveling-up of their team, department, or company. Staff work together to increase their team’s level. The result is more togetherness and teamwork.

It isn’t about me anymore, it is about us

Employee recognition must go both ways to truly work in an organization. A worker receives recognition, giving them a sense of connectedness with the company (3). A worker sends a recognition, and sees immediate collective benefit. If staff realize this potential through collective gamification, only good will follow for the organization.

References

1. http://www.gallup.com/poll/165269/worldwide-employees-engaged-work.aspx
2. Dan Pink on motivation:

3. http://hbr.org/2013/07/connect-then-lead/ar/1