Gamification of compliance

Compliance, is an area that applies to learning, to HR, to finance, to health, etc. It’s use is vast. The mere words you “must comply with the rules”, bring out the inner rebel in a lot of people and encourage a “watch me ignore it kind of behaviour” especially if the consequences of breaking the rules are minimal.

A lot of people ask about gamification design to help with compliance adherence. Now this is where once again good user research comes in handy, you want to understand what having to comply with a situation triggers for the individuals on the receiving end. You want to be very clear on what the user sees as the benefit to them personally to adhere to rules and how bad do they perceive the consequence if they don’t.

In the UK, you find the council tax request includes a statement that 97% of all residents in this borough pay their council tax on time. I then gives you the peer impression that as a good resident in this neighbourhood, you should do the same.

In Singapore, traffic rules and bad behaviour in public are quite harshly punished from fines to prison to even whipping if I am to believe the taxi driver who was telling me the tale of why it doesn’t pay to be nasty and break rules in traffic. In effect they have made the consequences so harsh that the benefit of staying within the rules is just a lot more palatable as a choice.

In Sweden they did the fun project test of adhering to speed limits, in order to win cash from the speed monitor lottery and guess what most people complied. Here is the clip if you have never seen it:

These are just some approaches that illustrate, the benefit/consequence scenarios.

From a gamification design perspective, when we know the triggers for certain behaviours, we can provide the structure individuals need to choose to adhere to policies. I do believe it should still be a choice, failure should also still have a consequence. But giving a structure creates the foundation for taking responsibility. If then on top of that rewards are available which are meaningful to the individuals then you have a potentially good design.

In e-learning courses for compliance related topics, allowing the person to prove that they have the required knowledge and skills with a number of tests, scenarios or quests, which if they answer above the required % threshold sets them free from taking the rest of the course for maybe the 10th time in their current job is a significant reward. It means time saved, yet compliance requirements verified. If the person didn’t reach the required marks then the parts where they failed is all they need to re-take is another bonus. Any new rules or rules changes, if they are not vastly different from the past are best presented in snack sized scenarios (for those of you who follow my learning framework, this is level 1 content gamification).

The fun elements can be time saved, compliance achieved, access gained and sometimes even creative visual representations. In a brainstorming conversation with a fire service training team, we spoke about compliance being an issue, yet at the same time vital for their service. In the brainstorm we came up with an indicator of how well the person was fire safety ready, by adding or subtracting professional gear from the avatar, to indicate when it was time to re-fresh some of the certifications and stay ready for full service. You can imagine the ideas didn’t just stop at removing protective tools and gear…

What have you included in your compliance related gamification to encourage adherence?

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