Post written by Juan Martin Vaz Labrot
Does daily management produce results?
How can there be impact inside the business?
What ROI can we get from applications like PlayVox?
What are the risks?
What social impacts can a social enterprise platform have?
These are some of the questions that have troubled me when the time comes to reflect on the implementation of Gamification and social networks like PlayVox.
First of all, what is Gamification?
According to the definitions that I could find, it's the implementation of game mechanics and play activities in work settings, which aim to foster motivation and achievement of objectives.
In many situations it's easy, obvious to find the necessary selection to be able to develop a work mechanic based on achieving goals. Sales teams are very illustrative in this case.
In my experience managing sales teams, I found the approach of planting objectives that are clear, specific, achievable and short-term are key pieces of daily management. Another priority area is communication, the enthusiasim that a team transmits versus partial development of the result and expectations versus compliance and what can cause this: recognition of superiors and colleagues, awards, commissions, etc.
The success of these practices ends up being influenced by planning and communication. Any work tool must be planned, must be conceived in terms of business, task, team features and aims we want to achieve. A mistake can be as expensive as the inverse to the desired result (often demotivation and low productivity). Effective communication must be clear, many motivational tools end up failing because of their poor communication.
Tip: If you do not explain why we do what we do, it's likely that in the medium term the tool will fail to accomplish its mission.
These tools are very common in sales management or in production sectors that can be easily Gamified or prepared according to games. Some already use: Sales Rankings, point races, prize roulette, etc.
Now, there are other complicating matters when trying to recognize or want to set motivating goals with Gamification. I'm going to use the example of the Customer Service sector. As a Contact Center Manager, I find it convenient to refer to sectors of the industry in which I am immersed.
What tools are used and which could be used to achieve game mechanics that encourage motivation and team productivity?
We are used to measuring service levels, call abandonment, attention quality and many other metrics but; are these reuslts motivating our agents?
How many times have we sat down to hear what motivates our people? What are their needs? What do they need to work better?
Returning to the subject...How could we make game mechanics with these activities?
Many businesses have special days, raffle prizes, breakfast with the boss or manager and other human resources implementations that end up being the only management tools for complicated operations to motivate with boring indicators.
A short time ago I learned about PlayVox, an social enterprise platform with very clear objectives. I'll present it's definition to make some further comments.
What is PLAYVOX?
PlayVox is a web platform designes especially and solely to improve the motivation and management of Call Center Agents or Telemarketing in their work. It intends to cover all areas of Talent Management which are: Recruitment, Selection, Training, Performance, Coaching and Incentives. Thus, PlayVox will help integrate and link a new employee entering a company with the oldest and accompany the supervisor in the various processes inherent to their position, helping their work.
Our proposal is completely opposite to how a Call Center operates today, making the information completely transparent to agents and offering the them the possibility to express themselves and collaborate with each other in such a way to help the cohesion of the team and maintain a high moral in each of the persons, making them feel identified with their Company, remain motivated to stay and accomplish their work in the best possible way.
Like the company text says, it has a different proposal, with its own information management of Social Network culture.
If you don't have a law-breaking spirit or are unwilling to run the risk of cultural change, you can stop reading here.
PlayVox is a private collaborative environment (each community exists only within the company and is owned by whoever created it) where agents can post information relevant to their management, commenting on everyday issues, discuss announcements published by team leaders, receive congratulations and ''medals'' for meeting certain goals.
The dynamic of this network allows each user be ranked according to points. These points are earned based on the level of collaboration in the community and from the points that are awarded with ''medals''.
The medals are virtual awards a team leader can make. They are divided into several groups as ''Goal Achiever'', ''Team Player, ''Problem Solver'' etc. and award points to players as well as giving visibility of their achievements in the community.
The first impact has to do with the biggest challenge as a team leader: know your people and know what they are thinking....here the barriers break and each one is free to give a ''like'' to a publication, or collaborate with others to propose new ideas. To have a tool that lets us understand the interests of our employees and what really encourages them is something we are not used to...But if we reflect on everything that can happen here, all of our employees can feel and think that they exist and are not created for a tool. We shouldn't avoid what an agent thinks about our business, about our product or about our driving model. The lack of any of these points will lead to failure, we will generate loss of production, sales, turnover and absenteeism.
The risks that we run are those that are already run. Obvously, as I mentioned, not all tools are equally applicable to all scenarios. PlayVox allows permission restrictions as users but equally, we must evaluate the convenience of a social implementation in our business.
Perhaps it is as simple as answering the following question: How interested am I in my staff? If the answer is ''low'' or ''neutral'', implementing a platform like PlayVox may not be a very helpful tool.
(Adapted from Original Version)