Feminine gamification viewpoint: social to encourage ladies?
Social media is largely dominated by ladies and their contributions, so will building a social element in your gamification strategy encourage ladies to take part? In statistical terms ladies definitely dominate most social media networks, yet I often receive the question that in enterprise gamification projects the ladies are not as willing to take part or how can they be encourage to take part in the corporate social network.
When ladies go onto social media, the purpose is mostly social namely to connect with friends and family, share photographs and videos, and often support friends or look for support from friends. Now move this behaviour into a corporate context and immediately you add the dimension of potential career impact, so looking for help with something you are struggling with, will not be something most of us share (even if we might actually turn to open social media for exactly the same question). Posting images on most company platforms is not quite supported and may indeed give the impression that you don’t care much about your work. So that are two key motivations immediately impacted. If however I am working on a project and can connect with the project group to share information and work progress, then I may indeed find this a useful approach as long as the purpose remains collaboration and not some competitive quest to share the most stuff possible.
I know I don’t post comments or questions in some groups on Facebook particularly, because I tend to get a barrage of rather aggressive sounding comments back. Often I feel treated like a dummy, even if the question came more from a point of view of wanting to engage in conversation, share viewpoints and not some kind of ‘I have one over you’ point scoring type of commentary. I know I could potentially add great value to the groups, but I don’t feel safe that my persona will not be attacked, hence I only lurk in and out of them. My belief is that in enterprise settings, the reigning corporate culture and it’s level of competitiveness will be a more real decision making factor for women to opt in or out.
In an enterprise setting women also want to be take seriously and judged on merit and contribution with their work. For the social element in enterprise gamification to work, the tone set will need to be friendly and nurturing which tend to be very feminine traits. I tend to suggest put a lady in charge of curating and starting the discussions. Social only works when there is a critical mass of people using the information and the information is interesting and of value to us and the work we do. The first person to contribute and the first person to comment are the ones putting their reputation on the line, which is the typical leader and follower dynamic. The first commenter sets the tone for the following posts, which is an ideal place for curators or community managers to enter with a gentle, friendly and nurturing type of flavour.
From a gamification perspective, having friendly endorsement options such as thank you for your contribution for public view and a message or image for please rephrase your comment in a friendlier tone for private distribution to the individual that posted, may assist in setting a tone. The like buttons from Facebook seem to have travelled on to most enterprise social platforms, together with elements such as ranking and rating, which again can assist in making the interactions of value to rise to the top.
I shared the info graphic below last year regarding motivation in work and I truly think that when encouraging social as part of your enterprise gamification strategy to encourage ladies to take part, you need to create an environment that is respectful to the needs of both genders.
What do you think will make the difference for ladies to take part in enterprise social media?