Wednesday, 14 May 2014

#GamifyHR - Gamification in HR

I'm at Fleming Europe's Gamification in HR Summit in Paris.  I'm here as someone who is interested in the agenda but hasn't yet made up my mind about the extent of benefits for most companies, so I'm hoping the next three days will help me make my mind up.

Our first session is from Mario Herger who defines gamification of design elements in non-game contexts to solve problems, change behaviours and engage, teach, measure and entertain audiences:
  • Engage - eg fill in timesheet faster - eg sad/happy face - silly - but led to increase 20 to 100% completion in consultancy company
  • Teach - help people to learn better - eg SAP Sales Roadwarrior
  • Entertain - Paul the Octopus prediction of sports
  • Measure - eg whether someone fits into organisation

Gamification design elements include things like nice graphic design like Candy Crush, avatars representing other employees / players, badges, leaderboards...

Examples include:
  • Basic things like recruitment - eg Formaposte, French postal workers had a problem with 25% of new employees leaving in their first work - they created a serious game which reduced attrition to 8%.
  • And learning - help people see how they're developing skills, making compliance training into a story
  • Or more interestingly, talent management - enabling a manager to get stock option on a new employee, if they do well the higher their bonus will be, so even if moving to a new team I still keep the same option (like Empire Avenue).

Roman Rackwits suggested gamification is becoming more important as we move from the industrial age and its focus on what we already know (crystalised intelligence) to the knowledge society and focus on problem solving (fluid intelligence).  We can develop this by seeking novelty, challenging yourself, thinking creatively, doing things the hard way and networking.

And because of low levels of engagement.  I'm not totally convinced  by gamification but I do think low levels of engagement around the world are a disgrace - and we need to use any new tools at our disposal to do things differently.  But I also agree with Mario that it's important we don't reduce intrinsic motivation by getting people too focused on hitting targets / receiving rewards / beating the competition.

Tim Ackermann at Parexel in Germany who have 16000 employees and are looking at 3000 clinical testers so have some significant challenges for recruitment.   However even in this technical area, they focus on Roman's fluid intelligence as nearly half of what someone knows will be out of date within the next five years.  They're developing a gamification approach seeing recruiting as a game taking people in talent communities formed years ahead of recruitment through levels via onboarding, learning and mentoring eg level 1 - visit the company, level 2 - work with real materials, level 3 - introduction of a company's riddle etc.

More from the conference later.  And I'm here for the next three days (and then the Gamification World Congress in Barcelona next Friday) so if you have questions you want me to respond to, or even ask the speakers, do comment here (or you can use the hashtag #gamifyhr on Twitter).

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