When employees are required to learn something, change processes, or work harder, the organization wants to drive their engagement with campaigns. One example is getting everyone to focus on sales at the end of the year. Another is making employees aware of a new product. A third is to grow excitement with regards to a new business initiative.
Let’s use the new product launch example. Sales operations, marketing and learning departments can launch a campaign to introduce the new product to the sales agents, train them on how to sell it using simulations and videos, define goals for new product sales, and drive social interest as well as, perhaps, set rewards.
Gamified digital motivation platforms, such as Gameffective’s can drive engagement, performance and learning in these situations.
In general, when we launch a digital motivation and launching a campaign as part of it, we look at 7 steps. They are applicable for any “special” drive in a company, regardless of whether it is accomplished with a gamified digital motivation platform. We will demonstrate these steps using the example of a debt collection call center running a campaign to drive performance during the tax season. In general, collection centers use the tax season as a major driver to debt collection, and that’s why agents need special focus during that time.
1. CHOOSE THE BUSINESS GOAL
Each campaign addresses a specific business need, should have a defined goal and provide a clear value to the organization. We can think of many examples for business goals such as introducing and promoting sales of a new product, adoption of a new system or process, implementing organizational change, drive performance improvement on a KPI with low results, hitting business targets toward the end of a quarte/year and on seasonal events such as the holiday period.
In our collection call center example, the business goal is hitting performance targets that were set for the tax season.
2. CHOOSE AND DEFINE THE CHALLENGE
First, let’s choose the way our campaign is going to be measured and who is the target audience. If the campaign is focused on increasing sales results, we should choose the KPIs that are used to measure the performance of our sales representatives. Now we can shape the challenge – hit your Average Handle Time target or improve by your closing ratio by 10%.
Many times, we tend to build challenges which in practice are relevant only to top performers simply because they are too difficult for most employees. Instead, try to overcome this bias by segmenting the audience into different groups based on their current performance and build a separate challenge for each segment. We should also consider whether the challenge is individual or a team challenge and whether the employees should try to achieve a certain goal or improve it in comparison to their past results.
In our collection call center example, we will define several challenges: collectors with low/medium results on the “Total Payments” KPI should achieve 70% of their weekly target. We can make the challenge harder each week during the campaign. For top performers, the challenge would be to hit their “Total Payment” weekly target and as the campaign continues, they will be challenged to exceed their target. We will also build a team challenge, in which not only you need to meet your personal target, your team needs to hit the overall team target.
3. CHOOSE THE GAMIFICATION ELEMENT THAT WORKS FOR THE USE CASE
At this stage, we need to decide which game mechanics to use for our campaign to increase motivation and engagement. Besides points, badges and leaderboards, we can consider many other game mechanics such as narratives and avatars, raffles (meet the challenge to win tickets), Bet on yourself, boss fights, etc.
In our call center example, we chose redeemable coins as the main game mechanic. Whenever the weekly challenge is met, the employee earns coins, which can be redeemed in a virtual store.
4. CREATE A COMMUNICATION PLAN
The communication should be focused on explaining the campaign’s details with a clear call-to-action to ensure employees are immediately engaged with the campaign. It should include timelines, how the employee can meet the challenge goals, what is the challenge’s reward and how and when the results and winners are announced. The communication should be continuous (reminders and nudges) and personalized (send a push mobile notification only to employees with low engagement).
In the call center example, we will build the excitement by sending teasing countdown messages a few days before campaign start. We will announce and provide the campaign’s rules and the coins redeem options and send the weekly challenge details at the beginning of each week. Reminder and nudges will be sent before the end of the week and toward the end of the entire campaign. We will use various channels such as e-mail, mobile notifications, the organization’s social network and others.
5. PROVIDE SUPPORTING LEARNING
Training – for new products, skills or new systems or processes – isn’t easy. Tying performance and learning together drive better results. You cannot sell what you don’t know. Use micro-learning to learn and reinforce knowledge. Use it as part of the campaign to bridge knowledge gaps and use the platform for platform support so user can ask questions just-in-time when the knowledge is most needed. Make learning personal and adaptive to increase learning efficiency.
For our collection call center example, the campaign will include personalized micro-learning items that will be triggered to collectors with low results in the” Total Payments” KPI. The micro-learning items will include role-play simulations and tips & tricks on how to increase a customer’s payment. Extra coins can be awarded to agents who complete their learning on time.
6. PROVIDE CONTINUOUS FEEDBACK
Any gamified solution should include continuous real-time feedback which provides the employee with cues how well they are doing, so they can reflect and improve. The gamified platform should give the employees a view of their targets, benchmarks and achievements in an engaging way. It should provide personal feedback on how close they are to meet the challenge’s goal and what should be their next best action to achieve it.
Our call center campaign will include a separate leaderboard for each challenge where the collectors can see how well they are doing. Besides the leaderboard, the agents will be able to see the balance of the coins they collected. Personal mid-feedback will be provided, letting the employee know how close they are to the challenge’s goal. At the end of the week, they will get a message on how many coins they’ve earned this week and highlight the ways they can improve to earn more coins next week.
7. CELEBRATE SUCCESS AND PROVIDE RECOGNITION
During the campaign, special care should be taken to celebrate success, and not only big milestones but also smaller ones, such as employees who meet their weekly goal or even just improved compared to their past results. Recognize employees for their engagement and motivation and reward them using a mix of tangible and non-tangible (points, badges and others) rewards. Celebrate the success of a team by taking them to lunch or meeting with senior management.
In our collection call center, we will use both badges and virtual coins for agents who meet their weekly challenge. The agents will be able to redeem their coins into tangible rewards such as gift cards. Teams who will meet their team challenge will get a bowling and pizza party. We will announce the challenge’s winners by sending a weekly newsletter to all employees.
At any of the above steps, use the power of a digital platform to measure the impact of the campaign’s activities. Analyze the impact of the communication and feedback messages on the employees’ behavior. Refine these messages to drive toward the desired results. Track learning results and provide reinforcement when needed. Update the rewards and incentives based on employees’ feedback to keep them engaged and motivated.
When used correctly, a gamified digital campaign can bring major value and provide a clear ROI to the business while making employees engaged and motivated. In this article, we laid out the 7 basic steps for building such campaign for addressing learning and performance business needs. To learn more on monitoring the steps you have implemented, read here.
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