SharePoint out-of-the-box can provide teams with a strong baseline for collaboration, but many organizations find themselves building and customizing solutions to meet the unique requirements of their business. One of the feature areas that customers are beginning to embrace is gamification — a term most business users may be unfamiliar with, but which usually surfaces within the enterprise as peer-recognition or praise capabilities, leaderboards, and other tools to help keep users more engaged. What many companies are discovering is that collaboration is more than documents and threaded discussions: collaboration has the ability to truly enhance team culture through praise and gamification.
People want to have a personal experience. They want to be productive. But enterprise collaboration should enhance their ability to engage with others — making it very easy to share content and ideas, and communicate with and praise the work of their peers. In fact, one of the leading methods for enhancing team culture and improving collaboration adoption and engagement is through peer recognition.
There are a number of reasons why collaboration fails within an organization: Failure to create any serious or lasting change, failure to integrate with business processes, failure to understand how the technology will improve upon what they already do today, and a failure to understand why end users stop using the defined collaboration platform and adopt unsupported and sometimes unsecured tools.
Employees want tools that match the way they naturally interact. The more difficult we make it for them to connect, share, and collaborate, the less likely they are do these things.
Training and learning environments are often disconnected from the ”real” work that employees produce. Industry and community surveys show that enterprise software is still largely perceived as difficult to use. As a result, more than 70% of the workforce is not engaged, or is actively disengaged at work. But by personalizing or “humanizing” the collaboration experience, giving end users tools to praise each other, there is often an immediate improvement in adoption and engagement metrics. And when employees are more engaged, organizations will recognize a faster return on investment (ROI) for their collaboration platform.
These mechanisms are not new. Gamification is the utilization of game-like motivational elements in a non-game context, and are built around towards human-focused design that center on the fundamental desires people have for status, reward, achievement, self-expression, competition, and altruism. A great example of gamification might be the use of leaderboards within a sales organization, highlighting daily sales goals and team members who have the highest number of sales as a way to motivate the entire sales organization. Using praise to recognize the great work of co-workers can have a similar effect, not just for the person receiving the recognition, but to others within the organization who may now also strive to recognize the good work of their peers – and to be recognized themselves.
Enhancing your team culture through the use of praise and other gamification techniques is not as simple as deploying a tool. It means building out your SharePoint environment with a focus on productivity, and understanding the right tools and techniques that fit your team culture. You should explore end-to-end how people use the tools, apps, and add-ins that are part of your enterprise collaboration platform to accomplish their work — and understand where gamification capabilities will enhance these experiences and drive the right behaviors.
If you are exploring these capabilities for the first time, our advice is to begin by leveraging as much as you can from the platform – while acknowledging that the platform can only get you so far. Successful collaboration is a combination of people and culture. Technology supports and enables these things when used correctly.
At Beezy, we believe in the power of praise and gamification to enhance team culture. Our solution, built on SharePoint, provides organizations with the ability to tailor and customize peer-to-peer recognition programs and capabilities to meet their unique requirements. And when given the ability to recognize the work of others, employees become more engaged — and engaged employees are happier, get more work done, and provide more business value than those who are not engaged.
If you have not yet seen the award-winning Beezy solution for SharePoint and Office 365, contact us today to schedule your demo.