Gamification

This week is the culmination of several months of work, bringing together a pair of breakfasts in Adelaide and Perth. Just two small breakfasts, but the effort! From sorting catering, to inviting clients, writing presentations, organising flights and accommodation, collaborating with fellow speakers. It’s a huge effort. I need a rest.

But the rewards make it worth it. The conversations we have with our clients are illuminating, and different. We found ourselves talking about business challenges, about how to make things work, rather than that awkward vendor client discussion about selling stuff.

Let me give you an example. One of our clients mentioned that their employee referral program did not deliver ideal results. But he had already joined the first presentation about bias in decision making with the third presentation on employee referral programs, and was thinking about how to use the first concept to solve his problem.

Who knows if it will work? But it’s an idea worth exploring. I think that the client received value from the breakfast.

And reading the feedback forms is exciting. Under the question, ‘What key insights did you take away ...?’ somebody wrote Gamification. So my message got through!

And for those reading this blog – what was my message?

That gamification is a not well understood, not well used technique, to improve adoption of systems and processes, and that it could be used in an Employee Referral Program to improve its success.

And what is gamification? Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems – thanks Wikipedia. What did it mean for us - your Employee Referral Program is a non-game context, finding leaders is the problem, and you want your employees to help solve this. Seems like a good fit.

Will it work in Australia? Are Australian’s up for this gamification thing? Do you buy lottery tickets? Do you collect a free coffee after you get ten stamps on a piece of cardboard? Do you participate in the office footy tipping? Yep, we are already doing gamification.

I showed a quick glimpse of gamification in an Employee Referral Program system. A system where every employee could see their tally of referrals made and candidates generated. A system where they could see the top referrers in their company. At the first breakfast I suggested that because I knew the lead referrer was a goose, that surely I could do better, and so I enrolled in this game. At the second breakfast I corrected my mistake – and said that because the lead referrer was showing leadership in helping his company hire the best people, I wanted to follow his lead, and so I enrolled in the game.

Somebody asked me at the end of the breakfast if it was a real system.

Yep.

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