I have written about Badgeville before (see Badgeville Provides Cloud-based Gamification Behavior Platform™ and Expertise). Recently I spoke with Chris Lynch about their integration with IBM Connections. I was especially interested in this as I covered Connections extensively (see first of recent three part series - IBM Connections Conversations 1: Review of 3.0).
Chris began with some general thoughts about Badgeville to set the context. He said that one of the biggest challenges in implementing enterprise social tools is changing old behaviors and I would agree. There are many silos within large enterprises and social tools are increasingly being implemented to break down these silos. But the task remains to get people to actually change the way they work and use these tools. It is too easy to stay within familiar email, for example.
Chris said that social software implementers have recognized the need to map to business processes. This is something I have written about considerably (see Giving Social Media a Good Job). However, Chris said this is not enough. He gave the example of a large consulting company that implemented Yammer to break down silos. As I know from personal experience, cross-group communication is essential in this environment to share best practices. But how do you change 20 years of learned communication behavior?
The firm, working with The Behavior Platform (Badgeville’s core product), created a simple mobile app that allowed people to share the “who, what, and where” about a conversation. People received points for participation, and earned contextually relevant rewards for location and content. Through the Badgeville for Yammer integration, those achievements were then published into the Yammer stream. Managers who saw this offered praise to those who received those achievements and others saw this praise. There is nothing like public praise from management that drives behavior in this environment. Everyone could see that Yammer participation was valued by management, so even the hold-outs jumped in as well. With gamification, the rewards occur on an ongoing basis and are cumulative to encourage ongoing participation. These rewards are not a one-time thing that is soon forgotten. Chris says this is an example of what Badgeville is calling Behavior Lifecycle Management – where gamification plays a critical role. Here is a sample Badgeville screen.
With Badgeville you can also pair rewards with contextual behaviors to drive engagement. For example, sales best practices are often hard to get out of busy sales people, thought it’s a common goal of social software platforms to capture it. A reward system that encourages this and offers public recognition through a leaderboard, a key game mechanic, can turn the trick as sales people are often very competitive.
This sales best practices example is one of the ways that Badgeville integrates with IBM Connections. You can also reward participation in the wikis, blogs, for voting, contributing to ideation forums and other aspects across any department. You can decide on both the behavior and the context to reward. Since the desired behaviors vary from company to company, Badgeville offers the ability to set your targets and context. You get Achievement rewards that can be combined to get a higher level Mission reward for a desired collection of behaviors. You can have many leaderboards within and across different groups.
Another feature in the Connections integration is reputation management. Reputation is earned through high value behaviors, rather than merely being attributed to what people say they’re good at doing. This earned reputation then travels with a user, both across Connections communities, and to other enterprise systems being gamified by Badgeville. So if you are level 5 expert on a topic, your comment in an activity stream carries this designation. Here is a sample reputation management screen.
A product launch being managed through a social software platform like Connections is an excellent use case for Badgeville’s behavior platform, since multiple groups and multiple behaviors need to be involved for success. Each group has different behaviors to reward and it is useful for each group to see what the other is doing. For example, the marketing people need to see that the sales people are properly trained on how to introduce the product to customers.
Badgeville offers companies a way to get value form their IT investments by encouraging and rewarding participation. The ROI for Badgeville is actually increasing the ROI for a firm’s IT investments. In one case, a company saw a 600% increase in internal blog posts after Badgeville was implemented. This makes sense to me. With some studies showing that up to 67% of employees are disengaged with their work, targeted rewards can be a useful and effective way to drive up the level of engagement for the benefit of everyone.
Other key metrics Badgeville reports center around employee engagement and training completion:
- 2,000% Surge in Social Sales
- 60% in Employee Engagement
- 250% Growth in Training Compliance