Monday, March 28, 2016

Gamification for Content and Knowledge Management

To successfully manage content and knowledge in an organization it is very important to promote a culture among the organization's employees to collaborate working on documents, share and document knowledge, comply with document control and information governance procedures.

This gets difficult when employees are disengaged from this aspect of their jobs. A recent Gallup poll found that more than 70% of all U.S. workers are either actively or passively disengaged from their work. It is a particularly problematic situation for contact centers, where employee turnover is much higher than in most other industries. It is imperative to ensure that employees are properly engaged in their job so that content and knowledge management initiatives could succeed.

One way this can be done is by using gamification which is borrowing from video games the principles of virtual challenges, contests, and quests for the purpose of racking up points, advancing to higher levels, or earning rewards. Gamification can be used as a means to get employees more passionately involved in collaboration on working with documents, to document tacit knowledge, to follow document control and information governance procedures.

People get excited with possibilities for rewards, status, achievement, and competition. Gartner predicted that by 2016, more than 40% of the top companies would be using gamification to transform their business operations.

What Can be Gamified?

Companies can use gamification to reward incremental improvements in knowledge sharing such as documenting processes they work with, in content management such using a content management system to create, update, and approve documents, in document control such as using a CMS workflow to approve documents, etc.

Employees can be recognized for improvement in content and knowledge management procedures, for increasing their knowledge of these processes through training, for properly using social media or email channels as far as company information is concerned or for driving traffic to company knowledge bases or online portals.

Anything that can be measured in content and knowledge management can also be gamified. But you have to tell your employees what you want them to do and why.

In the contact center, for example, gamification can be applied to many things, from entering information in the knowledge base to logging and handling more phone calls, chats, or email. The most basic contests can involve reducing average call handling time and increasing first-call resolutions, updating knowledge base entries.

Gamification can be used as a long-term strategy or implemented for shorter duration when managers see a need for improvements. In the long term, gamification ensures that processes and workflows do not end up getting monotonous over time.

Set Clear Improvement Goals

One of the trickiest parts of an implementation could be determining the targets to be achieved. While setting goals might appear to be a good motivator, employees will react negatively to unrealistic goals. Ideally, a target goal should stretch employees to achieve a higher level of performance, but still be based in reality, using established industry best practices. The goal must be consistent for all employees and across all customer interactions and then it must be clearly communicated to all employees.

When managers notice a slip in one area, it is a good idea to implement contests to bring that number up again. Here, managers need to determine what percentage improvement is needed to close the gap between the current level and the benchmark.

Other special contests can be held monthly, quarterly, or yearly as needed or desired. You can implement any contest quickly, and you can easily change your reward one week to the next.

However, contests can lose their motivational power over time without personalization, transparency, and immediate feedback.

You can use recognition and virtual rewards, for example you can put achievers' names on top of a leader-board as well as financial incentives such as gift cards. Other common rewards include posting an employee of the month photo on a board in the break room, online badges, titles or access to privileges like special parking spots or free lunches.

You reward people for what they are doing and make it clear what they need to do next to advance in the game.

For gamification to be an effective motivator, companies need to make all of the results public so team members can see where they stand compared to their colleagues. It also adds transparency and trust.

There are few technology solutions for gamification. Most gamification solutions offer a leader-board feature. These tools provide robust analytics and expert reports that can provide insight into what motivates employees and to which challenges they respond the best.

Freshdesk Arcade, for example, enables companies to display a leader-board of top performers in specific categories. Bunchball's Nitro solution also offers custom leader-boards that can be displayed publicly on dedicated monitors or TV screens. Or, with a single click on the user console, users can see their current point totals, how many points they need to reach the next level, and the rewards toward which they are working.

Badgeville has a platform for Behavior Platform, a suite of products that includes Game Mechanics for creating gamelike activities, Reputation Mechanics for promoting status in an online community, and Social Mechanics for using social networking techniques.

Recent product enhancements for LevelEleven's flagship gamification platform, Compete, include real-time feedback, an updated user interface, newly designed leader-boards, and real-time breaking news bursts for LeaderTV. The company also recently announced a mobile application and strategic integration with several top cloud-computing providers. Web portals with real-time dashboards cost nothing to install and operate and can be just as effective.

With most solutions now available in the cloud, the gamification applications can be very affordable, on-boarding can be accomplished more quickly, and ROI can be realized in much less time.

Products from Bunchball, Badgeville, FreshDesk, and other vendors are software-as-a-service platforms rather than individual applications. As such, they can be easily customized to fit the individual needs of each company and enable the businesses to track behavior and activities across their Web and mobile properties. This also comes in handy, since every deployment will likely have different audiences and goals.

Gamification can really help to achieve positive results in content and knowledge management initiatives. Galaxy Consulting is on the top of developments in this relatively new field.

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