People are the key driver in all gamification designs. In conferences, I spoke at relating to HR, Game thinking and design, the same message resonates deeply. What fascinates me in this is that typically HR is charged with the people aspects of the business, yet they then really only have an influencer status rather than a seat at the top table. When they are represented at board and VP level, you can actually see the significant difference they can make in bringing along the voice of the people.
In our gamification design work, we take time to find out what makes people do the things they need to do for work. How some people have created natural success habits and others are still finding their way to productivity and performance. We look for trends and patterns of behaviour that can enable the majority to reach good results. Where possible we look for ways to allow for personal choice and individuality. Depending on the sector this is more or less possible, most often the constraint is the workplace tools we use to gamify business processes.
I always discuss the option to create multiple user journeys to allow for the different experiences. In today’s world all of our experiences online are being tailored to us from social media, to shopping suggestions and search results. Someone is always listening and very likely it is not a person but an algorithm that is learning about you the individual and how it can serve you better.
With that in mind I often cringe when I hear people in our industry say we should implement first and then tweak or let’s skip the user research phase. For as long as i have been dealing with people, no framework got the subtle nuances of people and company culture blended together. It’s as if framework designers are so stuck that it is the be and end-all of a the experience building exercise. I believe frameworks bring value, but they are only as good as the implementer and their understanding of the people they affect with their designs.
Putting the person in the centre of everything, means making an effort everywhere. You can’t ask your employees to put the customer first, when they feel undervalued and under threat. People focus affects all areas. Sometimes it means enabling your staff to make common sense decision and to have the authority to do so. Enabling them to do their best work, by reinforcing what they already do well and minimising the areas you want them to do differently. How they reach a result, doesn’t always need to be descriptive. I know my team often came up with a different way of getting to the result than I did, but the results where reached and where the process is not mission critical or ruled with regulations this is often the freedom they enjoy to deliver their best work.