IT Governance

Improving Service Performance through Gamification

Gamification did not take the world by storm the way some business trends have recently, but the idea continues to have merit. If you can structure work to feel objective- and improvement-based, it should create new internal benchmarking metrics. So in a post for, Matthew Hooper discusses how IT service performance might be empowered by gamification.

Rules of the Game

When employees feel confident that their work aligns with what the business needs, they work harder and may even enjoy their work. It can be difficult at times to show people how their work helps in the short and long terms though. The most direct way to make people feel better about their position is to increase their status. But there are ways to increase employees’ status beyond handing out promotions and fat pay raises. In fact, basic financial rewards and punishments are not the most effective way to improve productivity, as demonstrated by this quote from Forbes that Hooper cites:

Behaviorism does not work—the carrot and the stick (rewards and punishments) approach may work for a short time but it does not yield the intrinsic motivation that creates innovation and long term sustainable results. The carrot raises the anxiety level for non-performers (creates Critter State), while people who are already performing are not stretched. The stick focuses attention on behaviors that don’t work and on the situations that preceded them.

Gamification can circumvent these issues. When properly structured, it does not result in rivalry, and when financial rewards emerge, they are given explicitly as part of in-game achievement. Hooper gives this step-by-step process for creating gamification in your business:

  1. Define the game objectives.
  2. Identify the behaviors that need to be changed.
  3. Determine which players will be involved.
  4. Set the rules, levels, challenges, and dynamics.
  5. Create videos, quizzes, and flash cards on the behaviors wanted.
  6. Get teams excited.
  7. Establish a specific launch date to rally around.
  8. Keep the momentum going.
  9. Celebrate performers and watch for those gaming the system.
  10. Find new ways to earn points, include other players, increase participants, and offer new badges and awards.

For an example of these principles in action, you can view the original post here:

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