Employees are learning to be social in business. Collaboration is critical to achieving ROI for enterprise social networks. Right now innovative technology is out-pacing business user engagement. The general working population is in the midst of one of the most technically demanding learning curves since the desktop computer. Business users have to be taught how to collaborate virtually and engage in social business settings. The transition requires un-learning old behavior and replacing it with new behavior.
Gamification can help bridge the transition process. Here are six key steps to gamifying your enterprise social network:
1. Know your user strategy. A “get-acquainted” strategy is not the same as a “collaboration” strategy. It’s critical that before you start gamifying your network you understand where your users are and what participation you want from them. Trying to get all types of participation to happen at once can be too confusing. Great games are clear and concise. Don’t confuse the end with the means.
2. Meet users where they are. The needs of the executive users, top-down, are different from managers, which in turn are different from the needs of the general user population. Great business games acknowledge the needs or role of the user while at the same time advance the desired goals of each group collectively and individually.
3. Keep the association between behavior and reward clear. Gamification is identifying and rewarding the right behavior to drive strategy. Rewarding “liking” content with points when your goal is to surface subject-mater-experts may not produce the results you want.
4. Help users learn the right behavior. Training and coaching are great tools in gamifcation. But excessive anything, even coaching pop-ups, may defeat your purpose. Help users and listen to their feedback to ensure what you are offering is on target.
5. Planned obsolescence is key. Remember if you are going to retire a game make sure you are not penalizing your players-keep contribution separate from rewards.
6. Measure and tweak. Know where you are to ensure that you are getting where you want to go--remember to baseline your starting point and measure success to your end-goal.
Noreen Poli is product manager and consultant at Ready, Set, Go Social! Her projects range from award winning methodologies to end-to-end mobile gamified applications. Her background in product management is enhanced by experience in user research, analytics, human behavior, and social giving her a unique skill-set custom made for this era of realtime analytics and personalized products.