The Pokémon Go craze is in the news practically every day. It is almost impossible to go anywhere without spying someone walking around trying to catch Mewtoo, Dragonite, Psyduck or one of the other creatures in the game. As I observe this behavior and how quickly it caught on it made me wonder if there is a lesson in this for motivating employees.Gamification is the trendPokémon Go, while a currently popular game, is not the trend. It is one more indication however, that gamification is the trend. Gamification has been around for quite a while. Who has not played games? Its popularity however has expanded greatly with the use of mobile devices. Companies try to influence consumer behavior by the use of games. McDonald’s use of games would often drive consumers to their stores with the promise of big prizes. Currently FourSquare uses gamification, as does Starbucks in order to reward frequent shoppers who participate. All of us can think of consumer oriented companies that may use some sort of gamification to drive business there way. However, it becomes harder to find companies that use gamification to increase employee participation. Marcus Buckingham is working of gamification use in management, as I wrote here, and I did a podcast with Mike Tinney about the use of gamification in wellness programs. However, I don’t find a lot of examples for the use of gamification in the day-to-day business of most companies. Why?Why?If gamification can drive people to walk around looking for imaginary creatures and drive people to pick a particular restaurant to have their lunch why wouldn’t it, why shouldn’t it, be a powerful tool to drive employee behavior on the job? I think it would be, but there are steps to follow in instituting gamification and increasing challenges as you use it. This may be the roadblock! First we have to decide what behavior we want to change. Then we have to create the game that drives it. Then we have to get employees and managers to use it. Plus we have to get over the roadblocks that may be thrown in our way from the government in the use of the game. But if a game can drive the kind of behavior we see in Pokémon Go wouldn’t it be worth it?The Gamification SpectrumI came across an excellent paper written by Dr. Michael Wu that was published by Lithium. In this whitepaper Dr. Wu talks about the Gamification Spectrum and the nine patterns that builders and users of gamification need to be aware of in it use. These include:1. Gamified behavior- do you want a single action from a single user or multiple actions from multiple players2. Underlying metrics- you have to be able to track player behavior and that becomes increasingly difficult and complicated3. Susceptibility to cheating- Easy actions make it easy to “game” the system. I have a friend who games FourSquare by checking into a location that he just happens to be driving by rather than actually visiting. He is atop the leaderboard every week.4. Ideal visibility and scope of feedback- This deals with badges and the time they are visible. Newer players may get discouraged with long standing, yet easily earned badges.5. Value of rewards- Do you want to reward simple behavior by a single player or the behavior of a team?6. Sustainability- You have to have something that stands the test of time in order for it to be effective.7. Implementation- Do you want simple badges or will you require custom tools?8. Extinction period- this is tied into sustainability9. Engaged population- The more difficult the game the smaller the number of dedicated players.Dr. Wu says that you need to have a three step strategy that include:1. Step one- Identify the effective timescale of your desired behavior2. Step two- Find a gamification tool with a feedback timescale ≈ your effective timescale3. Step three- Build a level-up ladder by filling in the gaps with tools that have successively longer feedback timescale along the gamification spectrum. Always start with immediate feedback (e.g., points) to achieve scale Fill all gaps (so the ladder is easy to climb) in order to maintain the scale as your players level up to the final rung of the ladder (i.e., the tool with feedback)Obviously I cannot do justice to Dr. Wu’s explanation, so I suggest you read this whitepaper to more completely understand his explanation.OpportunityI do believe that there is a tremendous opportunity for the use of gamification in human resources. It will take a coordinated effort between HR, game designers and probably some of the bigger software systems but I believe it may be worth the effort.Who is willing to give it a try? Originally posted on Omega HR Solutions Blog.
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We expect medals! – Former Sunshine Girls Forbes, Henry forecast Jamaica podium finish at Netball World Cup
Former national senior netball players Simone Forbes and Sasher-Gaye Henry said they are very anxious to see the Sunshine Girls end their 12-year medal drought at this month’s Netball World Cup (NWC) tournament, which will begin in Liverpool, England, on Friday. Forbes and Henry were members of the Sunshine Girls unit that last won a bronze medal at the 2007 NWC in Auckland, New Zealand. However, since then, the Jamaicans have finished fourth twice – in 2011 and 2015. Forbes, who is rated as the one of the best goal attacks to have ever played the sport, was vice-captain of the Sunshine Girls team in 2007. She told The Gleaner that Netball Jamaica has assembled a powerful team for the tournament, so she is very optimistic that they will be on the podium at the end of the competition. “It has been 12 years since we last won a medal, and these ladies, especially doing so well at the last Commonwealth Games, and last year was a good year for them, I really don’t see us not winning a medal this year,” she said. “I believe that this year, we should break that spell because when we won the bronze medal in 2007, it was an awesome feeling because I remember that year being a challenging year for the team. “We started out with seven and eight players, so when we won that medal, it felt like gold due to all the challenges that we had to go through and all the effort and sacrifices the girls had to make. “Fast-forward to this World Championships, I am twice as excited for this team, especially with the talent pool that we have,” she said. NO EASY FEAT Forbes warned, however, that the Sunshine Girls should not take any of the teams lightly at the competition. “We know that we have a very good team, and we know they are talented and they are working hard. So are other teams, and it is not going to be easy,” she said. Henry, who coached the Sunshine Girls to a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April 2018 before resigning in July that year, said that the NWC is going to be tough, but that she also believes that the Jamaicans can come away with a podium finish. “I think the Sunshine Girls can get into medal contention for first and second place, and they can even win the gold,” she said. “However, it all goes down to how well we manage the players and how well they play on the day in terms of limiting their turnovers and making the shots well. “The good thing is that we are now second in the world, and that is a boost for us because it is the first that we have reached this far in the rankings, and it speaks a lot of volume for us. It is certainly going to give us a lot of confidence, and they will try to push their best to execute on the day to ensure that we win a medal.”