Gamification Mechanic Monday: Absolute Rankings
The top performers in any field will enjoy being listed in rankings when rankings are a clear reflection of performance such as in a sales environment or sports. For top performers this tends to be a motivator when on the way up, pressure to stay at the top and a demotivator on the way down. The rules of making it to the top are clear to all and anyone willing to put in the time, effort and training to get to the top has a chance of being included. There is no question as to how they got there, their effort is clear.
In sports you see many great players retire as soon as they start dropping off the top of the ranking. In sales you rarely see your best person leave and what I have observed in working with sales teams is that the rankings tend to be quite stable. The question is always, why is this the case? Observe the top people and see what they do, then learn from them and apply it to your personal style, which should enable you to climb the ranking over time. Just be aware that this game mechanic can also have a negative impact when there is no perceived way of entering the top ranks. Some people may never try if the top is always the same.
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Where have you seen an absolute ranking that worked to motivate people?