Defining success

In all our gamification projects we look for a definition of success for the project, but also for a definition of what success looks like for the end-user. As most of our work is enterprise based, it is surprising how few employees know what they need to do to complete a ‘good days’ work.

Most employees are faced with the vast unknown and the dreaded annual or twice per year annual review. In some cases this includes performance from earlier in the year. Very often only most recent work is recorded. With changing demands and requirements, fear and uncertainty regarding job security and perception of performance by bosses can rule the day. Communication is obviously key first and foremost. Systems can be reminders or enablers to spot when someone needs help or further input.

If you ask different people for their definition of success, you will probably have as many definitions as you have people. Yet in each project we aim to understand what is considered good or bad. A lot of the time this is the first time this is openly discussed. We then tend to work towards a common denominator with some playroom for each manager of a team to increase or decrease standards based on the kind of work that needs to be done. Often the definition includes completion and then standards for the work. For example accuracy may be negotiable in some functions, but not in others.

What we basically want to promote is for any individual to know whether their effort was directed in a way that will be respected by their respective manager or whether they are not hitting the mark. Most people do want to give our best work and be proud of it. One of the core problems with lack of employee engagement is uncertainty and lack of feedback.

The tools we work with and out gamification design will look at ways to specify what constitutes positive or negative feedback. We actively encourage positive behaviour and we don’t reinforce negative behaviour.


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