Jun 172010
 

GAMIFICATION of the Enterprise: Rewarding badges and points systems on your intranet – social scorecards – could be the turning point for turning your enterprise 2.0 systems from a thing of work to a thing of play. Foursquare becomes Social Work and all the better for it. And don’t be surprised if Facebook comes up with some kind of Facebook Credits/Work Game scorecard integration. If you are new to these concepts you might like Verified Accounts and Leadership Badges or, more likely, The Role of Leaderboards in Online Communities.

Yesterday I attended the Sharepoint geekfest at The Hilton Sydney. I plonked myself down in the front row, iPad at the ready, to listen to Daniel McPherson (danmc) talk about socialising the business with Sharepoint. His company is ZevenSeas which wins points for having a cool name, I reckon.

The Game of Work and Gamification

One item caught my attention: turning work into a game. Daniel proposed that we set up Foursquare style badges to encourage staff to contribute and use the internet. Just before I go into his concepts, I want to point out that yes, I know it’s not a new concept. But. But. Ideas have their time, and I think Foursquare might just put Achievements (a la World of Warcraft) and karma points (everyone really, starting with Slashdot) onto the Enterprise 2.0 agenda. Before today, and probably still in many companies, the response to Badges for incentives would be met with a sneer and a “who gives a flying fig about stamps of approval?”. Now we can see leaderboards and games played out in social spaces, it’s easier to buy into as a concept. Maybe your work day will soon have a game attached. Badges for no missed sick days would be a good start. *cough cough* Australian winters aren’t that cold but still seem rife with flu. *cough cough*

ZevenSeas and Sharepoint:

What Dan showed us, in prototype was a module – or whatever Sharepoint calls plugins (WordPress) and components (Joomla!) – which allowed Leaders to set badge names and criteria for meeting that badge. I can’t remember the actual badges but it was something like Video Hero for people who rate or comment on Corporate Videos on the intranet, and so on. I couldn’t find anything on his site, and actually wish the whole presentation had been on this concept, rather than just a few minutes. Though to be honest, given the “But does Twitter have a business use” questions, the audience weren’t quite ready to make the work place a fun and social environment. Mores the pity. :P

Taking Badges Further:

I use incentives to reward influencers in my online communities in three ways:

  • Points for repetitive, ongoing and countable activity. A point for every comment you make, a point for every video uploaded etc. Get to 1000 points to get a new BADGE. Foursquare give you points for first login of the day, for becoming a Mayor etc. ENTERPRISE: points for logging in, points for updating status, points for completing a ToDo item, points for rating anothers business blog post, points for contributing to the  wiki (I think Confluence has that built in?) and so on.
  • Badges for levelling rewards. Reach a target or goal. Uploaded 30 videos? Get a Broadcaster badge. Commented 1000 times? Get an Oversharing badge. Foursquare has secret World Cup badges (you have to check in at a world cup pub in one of six locations around the world). ENTERPRISE: contributing to an unpopular wiki subject, logging in before 9am, talking like a pirate on pirate day.
  • Titles for acknowledging quality input. Obvious one is Community Moderator for those that volunteer community admin duties. Teacher titles for those that are helpful. Newbie for newcomers. Some of these are manually entered, others are automatic. I tend to use Titles to show that the “Gods of the Community” are paying attention and approving certain behaviours. Badges are automatic. ENTERPRISE awkward because enterprise is hierarchal from top down. Perhaps the future manager is appointed by the “machine” given their contribution, leadership and votes from the employee community. How scary is that!

Be warned:

  • Gaming occurs when people want to climb the leaderboard and cheat – or at least don’t play within the spirit of the game – to get to the top. This is a absolutely hideous yet interesting problem for me in communities. On one hand I want to spank them silly for pushing the envelope. Just wait until some smartypants has posted 3,459 times on YOUR site “thanks for the information, totally awesome dude” by using a bot and you have to hand remove each comment AND their 3459 points from their social scorecard.  Then tell me that violence doesn’t spring to mind! (note: today most community software has a spam removal system). On the other hand, “gamers” (in this sense, “almost cheaters”) are teaching you what you need to clarify, to correct and remove from the “game”. I also have a soft spot for them -they are the true entrepreneurs and pioneers of social behaviour online. The little monkeys. :p
  • The Not Fair Brigade are always around. They will whinge, resign and sue if they don’t get their points that they deserve. Or so they think. Be aware: every member of an online community turns into a lawyer, is married to a lawyer or has a dad that is a lawyer if you don’t give them what they demand when it comes to badges, points or titles. Who knew there were that many lawyers interested in gaming points around *end sarcasm*. This is particularly important if you use the contribution karma points to reward with real world prizes e.g. a trip to Tahiti or dinner with the CEO. Heh the last could be for punishment.

That reminds me: tell HR and Legal what you are doing. Don’t stop because they have a fit, but keep them informed. Don’t be misled by the simplicity of these systems. They may well overturn the industrial revolution into a employee revolution. I kid you not.

Gamification: Economies of Social Scorecards

Balancing the economy is the hardest thing, as economies dictate behaviours. In one game, we had “he who has the most gold” leaderboard. Suddenly there is no marketplace. In order to save gold people weren’t spending it. If they weren’t spending it, they weren’t buying which means others couldn’t go up the list. Good virtual goods became insanely cheap. The economy crashed. Annoyed customers everywhere. So we implemented a “he who is most generous with gold” leaderboard. Now they were donating gold everywhere. Another set of problems. I failed Economics at High School but more than made up for it trying to work with Devs to get this sort of behavioural economy working right. I really should resit that school exam. Heh.

Trust and Social Scorecards

What’s in it for the User or Member? They get to show off their elite skills in whatever your niche network is about. Social standing, trust, reputation and leadership. And just plain cool. Who doesn’t want to show off their gold star or camel stamp to mum? Well trolls (bad boys) don’t. But you manage them in other ways. Conforming to social rules is something that humans ache to do – it’s what defines community-  and badges and scorecards tell them in much clearer ways than ‘etiquette statements’ or ‘social media staff guidelines’ ever can how to behave.

Over time we gain “points” – usually unspoken but now declared through badges and measurable behaviour – and that gains us trust and reputation.

What’s in it for the employer (or community manager if your members are “employees”)? Reward behaviours. Remind people of good acts by having a monthly “double your points” game if they greet a newcomer, or upload something or whatever you want to be highlighted that month. When it comes to stick and carrot, too many companies have big big sticks and the tiny carrot is “well you’ve got a job and a paycheck”.  Better companies had stock options dependent on general overall company behaviours. But badges, points and titles start to allow you to fine tune rewards for results. Salesmen have worked with these reward systems forever. But rarely do admin and general staff get to play. Now they can. Yay!

Have a look at these case studies

Have a look at these content management social systems using reputation badges etc – List of Karma Points

If Twitter is working with Foursquare, why can’t Yammer and other social enterprise communication tools play with badges and points? If we give points to customers for loyalty and service in ecommerce systems why can’t we reward employees for the same behaviours? Maybe the golden handcuffs become karma handcuffs in the future. As in “I can’t resign, I have too many karma points invested in this company”. Oh stop laughing, it’s possible! :D

What do you think? If your company gave you badges and points (and maybe real world bonuses attached) would you sign up for a social scorecard at the office? Or would you sneer, beat up and take the lunch money of those that do want to play the work game?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Follow @Silkcharm on Twitter. Or you could just dance nekkid around the room for me.
  • http://www.digitaltip.com.au Tiphereth

    Nice ideas and strategy particularly for the big corporates where it’s very easy to hide in the background and not contribute to the greater good. Visible rewards via badges and karma gives motivation to most types of users except the deeply reluctant. It would be great if the social karma would then have impact on employee’s promotions opportunies. That means a buy in from HR and upper management and would be the ultimate motivator to become a social employee.

    • Laurel Papworth

      Thankyou Tip. I’ve seen this used in education too, effectively. Usually a big mouth puts in too much and is bossy (like me :p) , the majority do an adequate amount and a few do absolutely zero when it comes to collaborating on a paper. Measuring each persons input starts to equalise the process and truly becomes a meritocracy.
      I’d love to know if behaviours are simply revealed by points systems or if behaviour actually changes. The bored employee suddenly wants the “Most Productive” badge.
      On another note, I loved being a Brownie, and getting Scout badges like “camping” and “rug making”. But I got kicked out before Girl Guides for talking too much. *sad face*

    • http://flavours.me/40deuce 40deuce

      This is a fantastic idea! I love it.
      I was going to say that I work at a small-ish company that it may not work at, but Tiphereth pretty much already summed up what I was thinking about using it in a corporate setting.

  • Maria Sipka

    This is a well researched and thought out post! Is there an app or plugging that manages these Loyalty programs?

    • Laurel Papworth

      It depends on your CMS Mairia – Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Elgg etc have the plugins listed above. I’m unaware of an open source, distributed karma points system unless Facebook Credits opens up soon.
      If they do, it’s game over for real world currencies. karma points will effectively becoming a medium of exchange coin. Someone tell the tax department!

      • http://www.linqia.com Maria Sipka

        That’s cool. So does this mean that we will be able to integrate Facebook credits into our loyalty program? I’ve always struggled with how to pay out cash to either kids, people who don’t have or want to supplier their banking info, issuing invoices and VAT hurdles. It could be the solution. And finally, I wonder if a person will be able to donate their credits, assuming there is a cash value, to charity.

  • http://twitter.com/kiefter/status/16413269451 Andre Kieft

    RT @danmc: RT @SilkCharm: would WORK be more fun with 4square badges? http://bit.ly/cyOHoM Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard & social med …

  • http://twitter.com/socialologist/status/16795431799 Stephanie Schwab

    Using badges and points systems outside of traditional social networks – interesting ideas from @silkcharm http://ow.ly/20xk1

  • http://twitter.com/erikdigiredo/status/17405986946 erikdigiredo

    Interesting view of Reputation Management via Badges a la FourSquare: http://instapaper.com/zu5y8wiZ

  • http://twitter.com/o_wr/status/17406047607 Online Web Rep

    Interesting view of Reputation Management via Badges a la FourSquare: http://instapaper.com/zu5y8wiZ

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  • http://twitter.com/hkotadia/status/17684698399 Dr. Harish Kotadia

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma http://bit.ly/d82N3h #scrm #pr #cmo #e20

  • http://twitter.com/micahboswell/status/17684881551 micahboswell

    RT @HKotadia: Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma http://bit.ly/d82N3h #scrm #pr #cmo #e20

  • http://www.swiftcurrentventures.com.au Scott Goldie

    Interesting thoughts. I’ve developed a ‘Checkins for Companies’ SaaS (www.pinpoints.us) but decided to omit badges and points. I may have to revisit that decision I think :)

  • http://twitter.com/sikkogerkema/status/18504554468 sikko gerkema

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma | Laurel… http://lnkd.in/Mjd8Wk

  • http://twitter.com/__fury/status/21491586464 fury

    Facebook : Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma | Laurel Papworth: http://bit.ly/9GgTeS

  • http://twitter.com/socialmedia_jpn/status/21491591543 Social Media Lab

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma | Laurel Papworth http://bit.ly/9GgTeS #socialmedia #smm

  • http://twitter.com/fayezgase/status/24734721372 Fayez

    RT @SilkCharm Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma http://bit.ly/bITSRm

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  • http://twitter.com/lynnoel/status/136122496591200256 Lynn

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma | @SilkCharm | Laurel Papworth http://t.co/Gc2ptuy1 via @AddToAny

  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/136187223090540545 Laurel Papworth

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma | @SilkCharm | Laurel Papworth http://t.co/Gc2ptuy1 via @AddToAny

  • http://twitter.com/ozychk21/status/136188142238707715 Ozzy

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma | @SilkCharm | Laurel Papworth http://t.co/Gc2ptuy1 via @AddToAny

  • http://www.increaseyourrank.com/ Increase Your Rank

    Such great points, particularly around the incentives you apply in attaining and sustaining a solid following. Keep up the great content, Laurel!

  • http://twitter.com/silkcharm/status/174732768880758785 SilkCharm

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/schematiq/status/174733501302718464 Schematiq

    Yes! What Laurel said! http://t.co/zNeqZ0At

  • http://twitter.com/aprillallen/status/174733869524852736 Aprill Allen

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/uribex/status/174733971375132674 Jesús López de Uribe

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/social_whirl/status/174740023093100544 Danielle Fletcher

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisgander/status/174740185383313408 Chris Gander

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/vpapu/status/174752642168389632 Vappu Penttilä

    RT @SilkCharm Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/yCO4HDjd how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work.

  • http://twitter.com/juliancarter/status/174752656257073153 Julian Carter

    RT @silkcharm: Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/WGFUqssJ how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work….

  • http://twitter.com/selinanisanyan/status/174758781417291776 Selina Nisanyan

    RT @SilkCharm Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/EhIuzJJd how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work.

  • http://twitter.com/mosiseven/status/174762087258660864 Mosi Seven

    RT @juliancarter: RT @SilkCharm: Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/fNMkY92y how companies can implement badges and virtual…

  • http://twitter.com/garyphayes/status/174770967220989952 Gary Hayes

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/monsieurgustave/status/174771291600068608 Francis Gosselin

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/kYmderRo how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/adepossesse/status/174773656659046400 Antoine de Possesse

    Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/7Fyk12KE how companies can implement badges and virtual currencies at work. Forgot I wrote this.”

  • http://twitter.com/sthielke/status/174774224488120320 Sebastian Thielke

    RT @adepossesse: #Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/PRnEwPRj #gamify #socbiz #e20

  • http://twitter.com/efixxstudioscco/status/174777228230541312 kofi sika LATZOO

    RT @adepossesse: #Gamification of the Enterprise http://t.co/PRnEwPRj #gamify #socbiz #e20

  • http://twitter.com/michaschmidtke/status/174833204610600960 Michael Schmidtke

    Good best practices by Laurel Papworth on Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media gamification in companies: http://t.co/Bq2rUsSn

  • http://twitter.com/michaschmidtke/status/174834308639506432 Michael Schmidtke

    #Enterprise2.0 best practices: use of #socialscorecard and social media #gamification in companies: http://t.co/Bq2rUsSn

  • http://twitter.com/webtechman/status/174840170774933505 Daniel Hudson

    Enterprise 2.0: Social Business #Gamification & Reputation Management Cycles http://t.co/1PbEMgQK by @SilkCharm via @SThielke

  • http://twitter.com/sebastiencaron/status/175503238567694336 Sebastien Caron

    Enterprise 2.0: Social Business #Gamification & Reputation Management Cycles http://t.co/J5Ss9P0T by @SilkCharm via @SThielke (@webtechman)

  • http://twitter.com/xperscore/status/176104393886806017 Xperscore Software

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma Gamification http://t.co/k9guaat1 #e20 #socbiz

  • http://twitter.com/akatoo/status/176104750331334660 akatoo Inc.

    Enterprise 2.0: social scorecard and social media karma Gamification http://t.co/DU2tiAfi #e20 #socbiz

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  • http://www.marczewski.me.uk/ Andrzej Marczewski

    Great post. It is worth keeping in mind the vast amount of research there is that shows the demotivating effect of extrinsic rewards, especially for any kind of creative task. (Deci et al). This talk by Daniel Pink is well worth watching, it is great summary of what actually motivates us.

    You mention reputation, which is also a great motivator – everyone likes to feel that have some level of importance or status. The more intrinsic motivators you can work with (such as altruism) the better!!

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