To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, watch the webinar.

 

When we were kids, our lives revolved around playing games. Many were just for the fun of it, but others had ulterior motives; our parents knew that making things fun could get us to do things we might not necessarily want to do (think airplane spoons bringing mushy peas into our mouths!) Then we grew up, and for the most part, stopped playing games.  Or did we?

 

Playing Around: Gamification in Our Every-Day Lives

 

We are trained from a young age that if we do something good, we get rewarded. As children we earn boy or girl scout badges, as adults we rack up frequent flyer points and coffee loyalty cards. We might not even notice that we are being manipulated to do these things: the reward we receive makes it worth it to change our behavior.

 

These rewards can be intrinsic, as in these cases:

 

Piano keys were painted on the stairs to encourage people to use them instead of the escalator. While the reward is "better fitness," people took the stairs because the piano keys made it more fun to do this.
And for the guys: Hitting the fly makes you feel like you have great aim, but what it accomplishes is less mess around the urinal.

 

Rewards can also be extrinsic:

 

These Swedish street signs rewarded drivers who stayed under the speed limit with a thumbs up. Speeders were given the usual tickets, but drivers who came in under the speed limit were entered into a lottery - with prizes paid for out of the speeder fines.

 

It’s clear that we “play games” every day and that many businesses and organizations understand how to use games to motivate behavior. But what about in our day-to-day jobs? Is it acceptable to play games at work?

 

My answer: Yes, and we already do! Performance review and bonus programs reward us for doing our jobs well. A challenge with these, however, is that they tend to only happen once or twice a year. A continuous supply of small rewards for doing the things that teach us to work differently in support of our company's objectives is an effective (and sneaky) way to effect change within the organization.

 

Which brings us to Jive Rewards. A gamification program using Jive Rewards can provide substantial benefits to your community and your organization. Wondering how to get started? Try these five strategies.

 

 

5 Ways to Boost Engagement

1. Use Jive to onboard new employees into the company and into the community.

2. Create a tiered set of quests to encourage newbies and gurus to engage.

3. Target specific groups of people with quests designed to get them more involved.

4. Give employees a way to recognize, congratulate, and reward colleagues in a public place.

5. Reward activities from outside the community with badges in the community.

 

1. Use Jive to onboard new employees into the company and into the community.

 

Using Jive as an onboarding and resource hub for new employees serves two goals. First, it reduces confusion over where to go to do what thing. It also teaches new employees that Jive is an integral part of the corporate toolset while helping them learn the platform.

 

You can create multiple "onboarding quests" to reward new joiners for different activities. One could be specifically for learning to use Jive, while another could award a badge for completing a checklist of items both in and out of Jive. You can even target the quests for different audiences (departments, locations) based on profile fields to have different new employees do different things.

 

Some of the elements in the quests should teach employees to perform activities that promote corporate goals. It can be as simple as completing a task to learn about the company's mission statement, or it can be a series of activities that promote the use of Jive to find and mark answers as helpful.  If you're not quite ready to use Jive as an employee onboarding hub, you can still use quests to award badges for completing certain tasks.

2. Create a tiered set of quests to encourage newbies and gurus to engage (and recruit advocates at the same time).

 

To keep all employees engaged, make it easy for newbies to earn badges and move up in levels quickly so they gain confidence, then make tasks increasingly harder as employees gain experience. You can also create quests that are designed to help identify potential advocates. By the same token, you can tier the levels so they are harder and harder to move up into over time and therefore more exclusive and prestigious.

 

    Example quests for employee engagement:

    • Learning the basics: A set of tasks oriented toward learning to use the community and onboarding new employees into the organization (can include links to external platforms, etc.)
    • More advanced tasks: Repeatable missions with more advanced activities that lead users into developing the skills that support your organizational goals ("working out loud", providing peer-to-peer support, etc.)
    • Quests that are targeted toward a specific initiative or goal

    Consider rewarding top earners with both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards:

    • "Contributor of the month" tile on the home page
    • Role badges that appear next to the person's name in the community (like the little “A” next to every Aurean in AureaWorks)
    • Free ticket to a conference or event (think Aurea Experience)
    • Physical goods (desk swag that highlights that this person is a rockstar in the community)

 

3. Target specific groups of people with quests designed to get them more involved.

 

An excellent example of a target group is leaders. Their support of and engagement in the community is instrumental to keeping employees engaged, but often their engagement is not readily apparent. Use the competitive spirit of the leadership team to encourage them to participate in activities in the community and showcase their participation with a Leadership Leaderboard.

 

Another option is to create quests that target specific locations and departments with activities that are relevant to their roles - even down to viewing certain documents or videos or posting in specific places. Quests can also be created in different languages and targeted based on a language profile field. Users outside of these audiences won't get confused because they won't even see that they exist.

 

4. Give employees a way to recognize, congratulate, and reward their colleagues in a public place.

 

Using peer-to-peer badging allows colleagues and peers to thank, congratulate and reward other employees within the community. Anyone who is following the badgee sees that the badge was awarded in their streams and can like and comment. These badges can be awarded as a standalone item or as part of an @mention. Employees can even give away some of their points for a job well done!

 

The badges themselves can be customized to fit your needs; for example, you can create six varieties of "well done" using imagery with words. Make them mirror your corporate objectives so that employees can be directly matched with the goal that they supported.

 

5. Reward activities from outside the community with badges in the community.

 

Use badges as an additional way to recognize employees, especially when they are in multiple locations and may never see this recognition any other way. These activities can be integrated into quests using the custom event, including allowing employees to manually complete the event within the featured quest tile. Clicking an external link can trigger the event completion as well. Quest badges can be awarded manually from the Rewards console. You can even automatically award badges for external activities from other platforms using APIs.

 

What’s the net-net? That you can - and should - play games at work. Implementing these strategies and more can boost engagement and involvement while enabling your employees to have fun and foster some healthy competition. Let the games begin!

 

To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, watch the webinar with Senior Strategy Consultant Michelle Gantt