Gamification is Efficient Tool to Manage Behavior

According to a number of market analysts, consultancies and technology vendors, Gamification is a rising trend and also entering the world of business. We at Cloudriven share this view. Like with any rising trend, enthusiasm towards gamification can at times be overwhelming. But as with most trends, they have a certain strong and sustainable core – a reason that justifies the existence of the trend. At Cloudriven we believe that using gamification for behavior management is such a core.

Creating successful business strategies and goals is often seen easier than executing them. Execution is often linked to behavior. A company can strive to become more service than product oriented, combine two company cultures after a merger, lift employee satisfaction through better management of personnel, obtain more visitors to its website, or increase the effectiveness of its sales or service centre operations. All such goals require certain type of behavior. We are traditionally better at managing behavior in real-life situations. Yet, we believe that the demand for software solutions enabling behavior management is rising.

In autumn 2012, Cloudriven decided to aim at creating a software for behavior management. While writing this blog, the first pilot projects are already under way. It is therefore a good time to tell a little bit about the concept, and how it supports behavior management.

Cloudriven Behavior Management Model, CBMM

Cloudriven Behavior Management Model, CBMM

According to Professor BJ Fogg, the most important factor supporting a behavior is Trigger. When a phone rings or traffic lights turn to green, we act. If we do not have the competence or motivation to answer the phone, that should not trouble the software vendor, but through the software we can create or enforce triggers, which should result in a wanted behavior. For instance, can you honestly swear that you’ve never even considered to take a look at the Amazon “the people who bought this also bought…” offers or you’ve completely ignored all your Facebook notifications?

A behavior management system must also be able to register the events that indicate a certain behavior (Activity). I called a client, registered a purchase order, had a development discussion with my manager or employee or someone visited our website. It is easier to manage something that is visible. Making behavior visible does not have to result in yet-another-it-system and having to manually input data in it. The system must also be able integrate to existing IT systems and communication tools.

People are mostly self-guided, which is a good thing as such, but when the goal is to change behavior in a certain manner, it is a good idea to give instant feedback of behaviors. If one rewards or punishes a dog two hours after the incident, the message will not get across. People are not that sensitive to time, but if the reward of success in spring comes at the company Christmas party, the situation is not optimal. Generally speaking, the faster the feedback, the better the effect. Here one could also think of the ancestors of gamification, entertainment games. Imagine having the chance to select two versions of Angry Birds: one of the versions lets you play the next level right after completing the previous level, in the other version you have to wait for two weeks to play the next level. Which version would you choose to play?

Feedback should be given to enforce the wanted behavior. A good behavior management solution supports enforcement both individually and collectively. On the individual level it is important to know what the expectations are and how one is doing in terms of the expectations. In addition, the individual has the right to receive feedback of the performance. Collectively, networking and viral effects should support collective learning and behavior change widely in the organization, e.g. despite geographical distance. What if one of your company’s goals for social media utilisation would be behavior change?

The name of our product is Habit. Our goal is to root new behaviors to become habits. We measure the impacts of our service and calculate a ROI to the investment.

We believe that companies have the will and need to alter and manage behaviors in psychologically sound ways to help them reach their business goals. Focusing on behavior management gives a chance for both managers and employees to learn more of themselves, each others, their organisation and customers, and in general, lift personnel and customer satisfaction. We’ll tell you more of such successes later in this blog. In case you got interested, let’s be in touch!