One of our clients, an important company in the construction business, came to us with a plan: to build an online platform for the latest news and trends in the industry. The company wanted to reinforce their market leader position, make sure they attract the best talent, collaborate with innovative start-ups and build a culture of continuous growth, innovation, and excellence.
Building a Digital Observatory
What constitutes success in the workplace today is the ability to innovate so we wanted to create an environment in which teams can reach a maximum of creativity and performance.
We designed a platform where employees could have access to articles, statistics, studies in their field of expertise but also the opportunity to contribute with knowledge. The idea was to create a community of experts where users share content, engage with other members, and showcase solutions to complex projects.
The first problem we encountered was the frequency of posting new information and the engagement of users. Employees were prioritizing the day to day projects over content creation and accessing the digital observatory. So the question was how to keep employees engaged in the digital observatory project?
We tried to investigate if the principles used in gaming, such as incentivization and removing the fear of failure could be used with positive results. When playing, users are looking for fun, action, competition, rewards, a sense of validation and achievement for competing.
Gamification is a technique that brings the elements specific to games in a business context to engage and motivate people to achieve their goal. Concrete examples of gamification techniques could be progression bars in surveys, badges on Social Media, being awarded the status of “trusted source”, “top contributor” or “influencer.”
When we presented the concept of gamification, the main concern of our client was that everything will turn into a game where employees defer responsibility. It was not the case with our project. Gabe Zichermann, the world’s foremost play theorist, explains that gamification is about using the best ideas from games, loyalty programs, and behavioral economics to create engagement. Having worked in the gaming industry for many years, Zichermann understood one fundamental thing about human behavior: the key reward we can offer is status, followed by access to new content, power over peers and access to free stuff.
How the techniques of gamification helped our client
-We created an atmosphere of openness and collaboration where users felt free to be creative. This materialized in articles about real cases, achievements and failures, reflections and learning points;
-Created a united team with the determination to put in the effort to reach the goals. Players became attached to the game and were motivated by the excitement of the game itself to see what’s next and to be part of the change;
-Increased productivity and engagement because they were motivated to put in more effort which led to achieving and surpassing targets;
-Real-time feedback helped employees measure KPI’s in real time, so changes were implemented faster without having to wait for management approval. It also made the company more dynamic and the workplace transparent and fair. Performance reviews were more concrete and easier to go through.
Combining the implementation of the digital observatory with the principles of gamification turned out to be a success for our client. Placing employees in a game-like environment increased engagement and created a culture of creativity and innovation.