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Mobile Gamification: Race Across a Digital Workplace

Gamifying User Adoption

The last few years have seen some intense back-and-forth on the subject of gamification and whether or not it is useful in business. With the benefit of hindsight after the initial craze, the consensus seems to be that gamification of any business process needs to follow a certain set of parameters in order to be successful. For example, do not incorporate monetary rewards into the ‘game,’ and using gamification to increase productivity of processes over the long term as opposed to a one-off adoption technique. There is also a particular logic to structuring a game – it should include functions demonstrating achievement on the part of the participants, but also structure the game to focus on creating competency with the material and connecting it to real-world processes instead of just completing abstract game tasks. as well as provide them with the motivation, means, and cue to complete the game tasks.

We here at LiveTiles agree that one of the best uses of gamification (outside the classroom), is to encourage user adoption of new technology solutions. Whether those are new features of your existing digital workplace, a brand-new intranet, or anything else, gamification at work and mobile gamification are tools that can introduce your employees to a new system and help them incorporate it into their workflows.

In this gameful spirit, we’re presenting an article series with tools to implement mobile gamification and gamification at work, with user adoption as the end goal. The games we create are for you to tinker with as you see fit, in order to accommodate the features of your in-house system, workplace culture, and other factors. So without further ado, we present:

Amazing Race Across the Digital Workplace: Mobile Onboarding Game

There are a few ground-clearing things that need to happen for this mobile gamification to be effective. First, make sure that all the players have the relevant apps or functions on their mobile devices.

Second, establish how you will track progress and provide incentive. This example incorporates a task and point model, where each task completed gains a player points, and whomever comes out at the end with the most points wins the honor of being the winner. Some people might find this confusing – why not incentivize players with monetary or extrinsic rewards?

A guide published by Vanderbilt University describes the relative merits of extrinsic (money, others’ expectations) and intrinsic (feelings of accomplishment) motivations suggests that extrinsic motivators tend to undercut the actual learning or adoption of the material by drawing the learner’s focus to the reward instead of the subject. Furthermore, it stated that extrinsic motivators are unsustainable in the long term. In terms of mobile gamification and user adoption—the very core of which is long-term sustainability—extrinsic rewards like money or material prizes may not be the most effective. Following this, using gamification to drive performance will not succeed if user adoption fails.

Regarding the ending, it will probably be most productive to set aside a block of time for the game – perhaps two hours or so during the day, depending on how much time you want to give participants to complete the tasks.

In general, issue the tasks for participants to complete using a sort of announcement mechanism. If you’re using SharePoint, one way you could do this is to ensure that all the players are added to a particular site or group, and put up documents for them to view with instructions at each stage. Another app in the Microsoft Suite, Yammer, would be effective as well. Though it has a separate mobile app, using the two in conjunction will effectively allow a participant to explore the productive and communicative/social aspects of your digital workplace, and then share them in a way that can be easily measured. This game includes the use of Yammer as a way for facilitators to track and tally the progress of participants. Although this gamification series can be adapted to suit different mobile platforms, we will be tailoring the specifics to those using SharePoint and Office365 with LiveTiles atop it. If you are using a different software, you may have to make adjustments to some mechanisms of the game.

Mobile Gamification: Race Across a Digital Workplace

Task #1 -> Introduce Yourself

+1 point for posting an introductory statement with a fun fact about you on Yammer or other enterprise social media.

+1 point for including a picture

+1 point for each additional fun fact or information bit past the required one.

+1 points for a like on or reply to responses to their post; +1 points for a comment or a like on another participant’s post.

Why?: For new employees who will rely heavily on a digital workplace and online connectivity, this is key to starting an initial presence in that digital workplace. Offering further points for thoroughness and further activity incentivizes them to engage further with the app instead of just writing as short a post as possible.

Task #2 -> Explore Company Social Platform

+1 point for each unique Yammer/enterprise social media post from the last month that you find interesting or have questions about.

+1 point for each question asked

Why?: This will get them to go looking for other conversations on Yammer (or the platform of your choice) to understand how it’s used in your business. Best of all, through this mobile gamification exercise they can discover how they can use it in their own work as well. By phrasing it in such a way that you can get more points for looking further, they are encouraged to hop around on the platform and get to know what people are talking about. Offering further points for asking questions incentivizes a new employee to think critically – not just mindless sharing, but actually digesting information and how it’s transferred over the service.

Task #3 -> Contact Information

+1 point for screenshot of your profile posted to Yammer/social

+1 point for verifying contact information is accurate

Why?: This is something that needs to occur for every new employee, so why not make it part of the game and encourage people to get it done in this way?

Task #4 -> Task them to locate their departmental sites & request access (if necessary), and report back with a helpful document they found (i.e. a statement of work template, an expense form).

+1 point for screenshot of their departmental page/site posted to Yammer

+1 point each for interesting doc/material/processes they found while exploring their team site

Why?: This task gets them into searching for & finding things that are relevant resources for their future work, and gives them a bit of room to explore what they do find. For marketers, they may re-share a logo or collateral design that they find. For someone on the finance team, they may find pertinent forms that they will need. The additional commentary incites the player to talk with their team/departmental members about documents that they may not understand at first. While getting individuals to explore their personal and departmental corners of the intranet through mobile gamification, posting their findings to the social platform allows for others to get a better idea of what goes on outside their sphere of work.

Task #5 -> Conduct & participate in a poll.

+1 point for creating a poll in Yammer

+1 point for every response gained to a participant’s Yammer poll

Why?: This introduces participants to the more interactive side of Yammer. Instead of just the vehicle for them to receive announcements, having a player ask questions and seek responses from other employees in a mobile gamification setting familiarizes them with a less formal way of seeking help and information from coworkers.

Mobile Gamification: Race Across a Digital Workplace

Portal for mobile-friendly onboarding game participants created using LiveTiles Design

Tying it all together

At end time, direct your players to a leaderboard with the tallied results and pronounce a winner (to whom all glory and honor shall go). Though the players can look back on their Yammer or social feeds to see the progress of their gameplay alongside their competitors, LiveTiles Design offers you a few enhanced capabilities to be able to keep all these things in one place, for players and spectators to see. Using LiveTiles Design, you can embed an image gallery using the pictures uploaded by the players earlier, or provide tiles linking to the documents that players found most interesting. You can even embed the game-specific Yammer feed into the page, so that players can see all that they said and did.

Even during the mobile gamification exercise, using LiveTiles Design atop SharePoint allows you to create beautiful mobile sites with which players can interact. The embedded Yammer or other social feeds (which can be viewed on mobile) allow less app-switching on a player’s part, which can engage them further with the digital workplace that you have built for them to explore.

The Digital Workplace has become a popular word – but that doesn’t diminish the concept’s importance in connectivity and productivity, whether you’re working in an office or remotely. While intranet and other productivity software are edging their way into the mobile scene (with fantastic results), being able to engage with your employees on mobile first is crucial. LiveTiles presents an innovative and user-friendly way to do just that. Do you agree, or have any better tips for creating a mobile-friendly onboarding game? Let us know!

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Additional Sources:

“Gartner Reveals Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2013 and Beyond”

Nikos Andriotis, TalentLMS. “Gamification Survey Results.”

Steve Bynghall, Step Two. “Gamification as an Adoption and Engagement Tactic.”

Laure Cetin, Enterprise Gamification Consultancy. “The SAP Community Network: How to Use Gamification to Increase Engagement.”

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