This blog is the sequel to last week's blog post, Ready Player Every One.
“I don’t like rules.” – James Donavan Halliday, Ready Player One
In the movie Ready Player One, James Halliday’s highest value was the sense of joy that comes from the free-form play and exploration that was enabled by his creation of the Oasis. That sense of fun is important to all of our lives. But in the land of Service Desk gamification it is important to define some guidelines for creating a successful gaming environment. Here are four basic tips for ensuring success when gamifying your team’s work experiences.
Focus on the behaviors you wish to see changed
What is the reason for your game? As discussed in last week's blog post, clearly defining your goals to your players is important. The true value to your customer is the player behaviors that you want to see change or improve. Your customer wants to see your analysts include better resolution notes to tickets or ask a particular question on a call. They may want you to drive your end-user base more toward self-service, or using a chat application. Modifying behavior is the true power of the game, and knowing what behaviors you want to modify is the most important factor.
Accurate measurements are crucial
In the words of Charles Coonradt, who is recognized by many as the “grandfather” of gamification, “You have to measure what you want more of.” Before you roll your game out to your players, be certain your team can not only properly score the game based on how well behaviors have been changed, but also accurately demonstrate to your customer just what the impact was. Be able to show your customer, with good data, just how effective your game was at improving the services that you offer them.
Emphasize the social aspect of the game with your team
On the internet, you will find countless videos, message boards, tweets, chats, texts and blogs about games. The social aspect of gaming cannot be denied, nor should it be overlooked when introducing a game to your players. Create a buzz around your games. Get players excited! Before your game starts, utilize energy from leadership and other sources to get players talking. Once your game is rolling, be certain to publicly celebrate performers, and give them avenues to create around the game. This is the time that some of your team’s amateur artists and photo editing wizards may come out to play, creating content for exceptional performers. Encourage discussion, tips, tricks (within the spirit of the game, of course), and maybe even a just a little trash talk.
Don’t gamify EVERYTHING
While discussing gamification with our CIO, Scott Kitlinski, he recalled a manager who went on a bit of a spree, and gamified just about every aspect of work life one might think of. From time sheet entry to call quality, if there was a metric for it, a game would be created for it. When you’ve experienced success with your pilot game, resist the temptation to gamify every experience your players may have. One of your game’s most powerful features is novelty. When your team expects a game to be made out of everything, they may find themselves bored with the entire concept rather quickly. Further, you may lose the impact of being able to concisely point your team to a larger goal.
With these guidelines in mind, you should be well on your way to creating a successful gamified environment for your team that is fun and delivers results to your customer. That said, there’s one more suggestion I’d impart that did not make the list: Know when to end the game. Have an end date in mind at the start of your game, because no game is fun forever!