I had a great chat with iGamify’s (http://www.igamify.com/) CMO Ben Bressington, He was kind enough to share his game/business/life decks with me. We also chatted about what he was doing to bring process and procedure around Gamification in the work place particularly small to medium sized businesses. However, after speaking with him for about 30 minutes I came to realize that his G.A.M.E.R. formula he uses to create “engagement opportunities” (I like this better than the world game) is more than just a process or a procedure, it is a philosophy to live by.
Think about our adult lives, once we leave the parental home through to the time we retire we work approximately 2420 hours out of 8760 hours available to us through the years. Of course some work more, some work less, but based on a standard 40 hour we work between 25 and 30 percent of the time. Now for those who are in leadership positions within your organization, I ask are your employees happy and engaged? Do they come in everyday enthusiastic about their jobs? As a person who is in a leadership position, if your answer is “I don’t know” to those to questions, I suggest that you may have an engagement issue, if you answered yes, I would challenge you to prove it, as I have shown in earlier blogs that only about 30% of the work force is engaged with their job.
Now I do understand that we do need a separation between work and home life, but does the separation of work and fun have to also exist. Bringing fun into the work place does not equate to gaming. Gamification as we know is not game, it is not about games, it is about game mechanics, and applying them to real word process or procedure. By taking ahold of the G.A.M.E.R philosophy we can apply this to not just the work place, but our lives as well, (there is a life deck).
First find the goal, describe the goal in terms of the future state, and secondly take a couple of minutes and think about the actions you need to take to achieve that goal. Along with the goal, we have to provide a purpose to what we are doing, giving it context. For instance, if your goal is to increase sales, my first question is “for what purpose.” Goals need to have a purpose, without purpose there is no direction. The purpose of the goal will help us define the verbs which are “doing” words; they define some sort of call to action how can you take action if you don’t have a purpose.
Along with our purpose we need to determine skills and resources needed to obtain these goals. You may want to increase your sales for the purpose of wanting to expand your product lines, however if you don’t have the skills and resources to towards the purpose you cannot succeed. Next you’re your goal and purpose you begin creating a to-do list of action statements that will move you from your current state to the new state. The statements will reflect those actions that include ensuring that you have the skills and resources needed to move towards the goal.
Thirdly, when we start down the path towards are goals, we have to monitor the goals, what is the feedback loop we are going to use. If we want staff to increase sales, then the staff needs to have feedback in order to know where they are. If the goal is to increase a person’s sales by 10% per day, then they need to know what their average sales are for that day and then have the feedback to see where they are. But it is more than that, if you did not tie this feedback to actions that give your staff the skills to sale add-ons or up sell, the feedback may backfire, so care must be taken in monitoring.
Another factor is how we can add enjoyment to those activities that lead us to our goals. As a business owner, do you take the time to create an engaging work place that taps into those motivations that align with the goals and activates. We can create fun through some game like mechanics, such as competition, or perhaps something that gives someone bragging rights. In order to deliver the right type of enjoyment, there needs to be an understanding of what enjoyment means, we all enjoy different things, so what motivates me may not be the same as another person. Enjoyment needs to come from within, so while there is nothing wrong in building extrinsic motivations, the need to look at those who are participating in your goals and determine what makes them tick is important so that you can speak to those internal motivations, the ones that give a person that feeling of a job well done.
Lastly in our G.A.M.E.R. are the rules of what we are doing, if the goal was to lose ten pounds, than a rule would be that eating 1500 Calories a day is how I am going to achieve that goal. Putting it all together, the weight loss scenario is good. The goal I would state as “I wish to lose ten pounds so that my blood pressure lowers and I will not need to take medications.” Now list a few goals, I will buy a new digital scale, I will count calories, I will eat less and exercise more, I will eat health foods”. Of course monitoring this would be counting calories and stepping on the scale.
Adding enjoyment can come in many different ways, such as using a new app, to count calories, I have a great one I use called “Lose it”, I talk about this all the time. You might want to try new recipes that use healthier choice foods. Then take the time to brag about the recipe on face book. Lastly the rules, such as how often you will get on the scale, maybe you want to eat at specific times. I always run at lunch time, at work that is a rule my colleagues know I follow and therefore try to avoid scheduling meetings when I run. I believe that if we add G.A.M.E.R. to our lives not only at work but at home, we will succeed in the goals. In essence we are breaking down the components of success so that our goal is manageable and attainable.