Gamification Mechanic Monday: Milestone Unlock
In a game you may set yourself a target to keep playing until a specify point, like clearing a particular gateway, beating a particularly tricky monster or enemy, finishing a level. The milestone is important to both the player as well as the game, it has taken and will take significant effort to complete and probably a lot of repetition to get through it. Often players may mentally decide, I will just reach this point and then take a break or stop. But upon achievement of the milestone, a whole new set of skills or environment opens up…. and guess what you don’t stop, because you are compelled to go an check out what these new elements may do.
Now where in work have you experienced this?
I pondered on this one for a bit and i have to say, when I achieved a major milestone in my career, no employer really opened up a new world for me. The only time new worlds opened for me, it was mainly when I left to join another firm, so I created my own milestone unlock scenario. Most major projects I worked on were finished mainly unnoticed and considered to be part of your job. The only time I recollect getting feedback is when something went horribly wrong.
I remember being the change lead on a project and a team of people from the client in our project design group threatened to walk out and go on strike. I organised for the team to have dinner together, let our hair down and we talked about all the things that were bothering them, also all the things they were doing fantastically well (and there were loads), because we effectively as consultants had asked to join a project team and expected them to map out their jobs on process maps, which they didn’t find particularly amusing and was too far removed from the end result. This small action made a big difference to morale and people staying and working on as opposed to getting unions on the scene. My immediate manager saw my action as undermining them and gave me a talking to, that I can now call my milestone unlock moment, where I went looking for a world of new circumstances and ways to apply my skills in another company.
But what can employers do when a major milestone is achieved, in my view the minimum is acknowledgement, however that doesn’t give an unlock kind of feeling that makes you want to stay. In some departments where measurements are high on the agenda like for example sales, major achievements are often unlocking access to an elite club of members who have reached this milestone with additional and special perks. In customer service, I have seen the service agents who consistently delivered rewarded with special training and perks, which made them stay for longer than if their effort had gone unnoticed.
What else have you come across that unlocked a new world of work based on achievement of a specific milestone?