The world of gamification continues to expand at a rapid pace. More and more companies are eager to get on the bandwagon but aren’t sure what a gamification solution looks like or what to expect. Recently gamification pioneer Bunchball and social collaboration platform provider Jive announced a partnership to offer Bunchball’s Nitro product integration with Jive’s Advanced Gamification Module.
Adam Mertz, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Jive answered a few questions about the partnership and the benefits of the new solution.
What is Jive?
Jive is the world’s leading provider of social business solutions. Our products apply powerful technology that helps people connect, communicate and collaborate to solve their biggest business challenges.
What does this offering provide to the Jive user community?
Your company is only as good as the knowledge that you share. This sentiment is the same with the community. The community is only as good as the engagement and contribution of users. You want them to work smarter and faster.
Many companies are changing the way people connect, share and learn. It’s about helping people work with purpose inside their Jive social network. Information may be difficult to follow so focusing on collaboration is key to reaching goals for yourself, your department, and the company in general.
Driving business value to share more knowledge offers incentives thereby driving more value to the bottom line by reducing time to get to information, answers, access to experts, and the ability to work smarter and faster.
What was the motivation behind looking for a gamification solution at Jive?
We have long recognized that gaming techniques work. People have a desire for progress, recognition, competition and a sense of community. Bunchball has helped us further advance the engagement in all customer communities and internally by enabling us to tie our platform more closely to those common desires. Structurally the platform offers:
Missions – progress towards a goals
Levels – recognition by accomplishing various activities
Competition – leaderboards
Community – team missions and goals so a group can compete as a team
We enable people to work smarter and faster and encourage them to do this via the Bunchball solution. This makes the community more powerful and adds to the bottom line.
What features attracted you most about Bunchballs’ offering?
We spent a fair amount of time looking at the competitive landscape. What we liked about Bunchball was that the solution offered an easy way to move beyond badging and give customers advanced options like rank and reputation.
Bunchball is a leader in the gamification space and they have people devoted to advancing techniques around leveraging game mechanics. They also offer the ability to tie gamification benefits beyond the Jive platform.
Was the addition of the Bunchball solution easy for employees to understand and start working with?
What we thought made this feature easy for people to use was the highlighting of things like badges, levels, and mission completion. They could see all of this on their profile as well as other areas where they could earn things.
They could see highlights of their peer’s accomplishment as well because it was made visible as a claim in their activity stream. What they didn't utilize before that they could now with gamification was that their content generated conversations in other areas of the community.
This aspect generated points for them due to the increased recognition of the content thread. Intrinsically it provided a great new feature of their existing social network. When people understood this, the usage increased and they quickly wanted to understand how to do more.
What insights or recommendations can you offer businesses regarding the implementation process?
I would recommend gamification within a community platform because the goals help inspire people to collaborate. If you keep this in mind when implementing a gamification initiative then you need to think about what you are focusing their time and attention on. Focus on what you want to incent and that it is aligned with the goals of why you implemented the solution in the first place.
For instance, if you implemented something to keep people more aligned with company strategy and keep communication channels open - what are the activities you want them to do? Read a blog, follow a newsletter, comment, inputs, etc? Keep the end in mind and tie your project design to the right business objectives.
Was HR involved in any aspect of the process? If so, what role did they play and if not, do you feel they should have been?
HR is commonly involved as a business partner in a number of Jive initiatives mainly organization development, ramping new hires, and internal corporate communications. Of these areas, corporate communications is especially critical. You have M&A, managing global employees, remote workers and within this environment you have to devise a way to keep everyone aligned. Part of our roll out contains many aspects f getting people to engage and so HR has a stake at the table in getting this initiative going.
In terms of KPI’s what will you be looking for to objectively evaluate that the initiative was a success?
What we want to look at and measure is related to overall engagement. We want to drive things like high participation as measured by amount of questions asked, making comments, and creating content. All of these activities demonstrate what we are looking for – the volume of engagement on the platform
Customer feedback has proved this as well. UBM has publically talked about seeing a 30% increase in month-over-month engagement and another 47% increase in usage after launch of the advanced gamification module.
Eloqua (recently bought by Oracle) turned the gamification feature on and didn't say anything to their people. Overnight the engagement (i.e. activity in their community) doubled. From that point it kept doubling. People simply understood the power of a rich set of engagement features and went with it.
Do you have any other thoughts or comments you would like to share about this partnership including potential future initiatives?
It is really all about “what’s the point?” in launching a well-designed initiative. If you are helping people stay more connected and work with more of a purpose, then you are helping drive more business value by encouraging people to share knowledge.